The Abysmal Life of Crayon

Experience the joys in the life of jaded Sydney-siders Crayon and Jamin-kun.

Monday, May 31, 2004

My Silent World: Part 2

At work right now. Fatty has just asked me to go downstairs to get another fax for him. Surprisingly, I don't mind all that much, i like the quiet hum of the fax machine, and the fact that I can get away from my desk.

Just thinking about how good they are to me here at work...

I feel as if I have been so lucky not to experience much discrimination against the fact that I am hard of hearing, and where hearing aids in both ears.

Deaf people have a hard time communicating, and its especially hard if you are only hard of hearing, and can hear most of what people say, but not all....

My mechanism is like this. Someone says something and I don't hear what they've said - I usually say:

"I'm so sorry, I didn't hear what you said, can you say that again?" but I say it really really nicely, like no matter who they are , I really want to help them, or know what they said.

I usually get it on the second go, but if I dont hear it then, I say "I'm actually quite deaf - I have hearing aids, could you speak a little more clearly?"

More often than not, they are surprised that I am deaf, and say "Really? How interesting: and want to know how I deal with it - I ALWAYS love to tell them what it is like - I try to make it something that starts a conversation.

Usually they are so impressed by the way I can cope without sound, and say "Wow, you do really well,"

I worked in a clothes shop for ages - about three years actaully - and I used to get SO stressed out using the phone, or having to hear in a shop with loud music pumping out of the speakers...

I find it interesting though, that deaf people also get really impatient with people who don't speak the way we want them to speak, so that we can hear - I know that if my mum doesnt speak so I can hear her, I ignore her, which pisses her off.

Also, if a customer speaks in a grumbly low, mumbly voice, I would get SO irritated, and would not even try to help them.

Worst things that ever happened to me was going for a Job trial at a really trendy clothes shop in Sydney, where they had the music pumping and everything. The manager interviewed me, loved me, and said ok, have a trial.

I was ready to go thinking "I can do this - I will just have to ask everyone to repeat themselves.." The music was BLASTING, and she started to give me istructions, like "Stay down the front of the store, look out for shoplifters"

I did so, but when a customer asked me for something, I walked back up to ask the manager where it was.

She screamed at me "Didn't I tell you to stay at the front of the store?" and then she said something else, but I was so distressed, I wasn't hearing properly, so I didnt know what she was saying, and she yelled at me,

"Are you deaf?" (HAH! you've got no idea how many people say that to me)and I was freaking out, I just went back down the front of the store...

Then, she got angry at me again, for something (Im serious I had only been there like 20 minutes), I couldnt understand what she was saying, and she was geting really pissed off - and I felt like crying, and aso I took her out the back, and began to cry as I said to her, "Look I dont think I can do this - I've got hearing aids and the music is too loud and its too stressful".

She looked at me like she couldnt believe it - she was stunned. And she said, well, why didnt you tell me before?

And I said , "well, Im sorry - its not something that I find I have to tell people usually..... I just really need to get out of here."

And I ran out crying, sobbing, weeping, because I felt like I could never get a job. I walked down that main street crying so hard, people were staring at me with pity on their faces, they had no idea what I had just been through. I felt like killing myself.

But I am much better now - that was two years ago - I now have a job in a big Company in the city, much better job than that one was.

Its hard to be deaf in a hearing world, but the pain that comes from it makes me so much more of a good person - I never ever judge anyone. If someone doesnt see me, doesnt hear me, ignores me, acts strangely - I never think "Oh weirdo", I always think - "I wonder why they did that? perhaps deaf, blind, schizophrenic, problems at home, stress?"

There is always a reason for something.

Anyway, thats my story. I feel a bit sad now.


Monday, May 24, 2004

Saturday Night

I was scared on Saturday, I just remembered - Jamin-kun was away at some kind of party, and I had planned on visiting my sister and staying the night. But at the last minute I decided to go home, so I could just sleep easy, plus I was looking forward to seeing Jamin-kun, since I hadn't seen him since I left for my haircut at *gasp* 1pm!

This is how pathetic I am now since I've been going out with him - I've been with him for 16 months now, we've living together for 3 months. All is peachy, but I need him and miss him more than ever now!

Luckily, the same goes with him - I know he misses me when I am gone for even a few hours - and I've seen him mope without me at parties. I once arrived at a cocktail bar in Newtown about 30 minutes late, and saw my group of friends through the window. there he was, looking mournfully at the entrance. I stood there for a few seconds, just thinking oh..., and then i came in, and he looked so relieved, he had saved me a seat and everything.

"Where've you been?" he asked.
"just taking some photographs of the street" which I had been with a cheap disposable camera.
Then once we settled in, and everyone was talking and it was loud enough to scream obscenties about the people around you to someone without them hearing - my friend A says to me "you should have seen him before you came. He looked lost!"

"oh!" thats all i could say, with that beautiful feeling of being loved! "oh!"

But anyway, back to the scary Saturday night all on my own.


Jamin-kun was at his own party while I was at my sisters. I drove home, watched some TV, then settled down for bed.

Now, I will tell you something that is scary about being even slightly deaf.

Two words

Night noises.

Now, a deaf person who can hear some sounds, often doesnt know what they are hearing because it sounds wrong, different, higher pitched etc muffled etc. With my hearing aids in, I can usually work out what a sound is. Dog barking, a bang from across the street, a car driving up the drive way....

But if you are lying in bed without your hearing aids, trying to get to sleep (for people who have no idea - you dont sleep with hearing aids in) it can sound so freaky.

So I went to bed, knowing that Jamin-kun was going to come in after 3 or 4am, and in the dark - I started to imagine things. Now, don't get me wrong - I have not had many nightmares since I was a kid - and im not stupid - I am twenty-four year old girl now!

But man, was I scared! I lay there quivering - I swear i was hearing something, and I couldnt tell what it was! It could have been anything - i began to imagine how murderers or rapists would be climbing the stairs, laughing and having a loud coversation because they knew I was really really hard of hearing, and I was going to get killed - all because I couldnt hear them coming up the stairs arghhhhhhhhhhhh!

I had my head under the blanket, and I had text messaged Jamin-kun, saying "God, I am actually scared, I hate to admit it, but, when are you coming home?"

And he wrote back saying "Are you serious? You're SCARED? Oh, god, ok, if you really want me to."

And I wrote back saying "yes yes yes please do, It'll be great to see you yadda yadda yadda."

Then I went back to peeking out, trying to watch the door to the hallway in the darkness thinking, should I hide under the bed if it starts to open, or lunge at them screaming "Die bastards!" and try to scare them off.

ohhhhh, anyway, the end result is, i fell asleep in the end at about 2am, and Jamin-kun returned at about 4am, probably joking to everyone how he had to return to his girlfriend who has scared of the dark, and had texted him from under the bed.

Oh the humiliation. And the biggest fright I got of the night was when he got into the bed next to me! I woke up with one of those massive gasps like "Harrrrrrghhhhhhhh!!!!!!"

It scared the shit out of him.


My Silent World: Part 1

I just had a frustrating experience! Im at work, working on an advertising campaign. The phone rang (i jumped a metre high - I hate hearing the phone ring, I start to tense up, cause I know I may have trouble hearing however it is on the other end..)

Anyway, of course, this is somebody who is mumbling and slurring their words, and after a few seconds of me going "please slow down, I cant understand you, Im sorry!" I had to ask the person on the phone, had no idea who it was, to email me, because I just couldn't work out what they were saying on the phone!

Embarrassing, but I am getting used to it. And surprisingly, no one seems to mind that much.

Oh well. Just had to breathe and try and calm down afterwards! hehehe.

I am hard of hearing, but i feel like I am Deaf. I describe myself as Deaf to people, because I wear hearing aids in both ears, and cant hear very well without them at all - people have to shout, and even then i cant hear them that well.

My whole family is hearing, my boyfriend and all my friends, workmates and so on - they are all hearing - I only know a couple of deaf people, and even then, i dont know them too well.

i work in the Media Industry in Sydney, and it always fascinates me the way people react when they either hear I am deaf from someone else, or realise I havent heard them say something.

Amazing - most people think I am kidding them! If only! But in reality, I dont do too badly, and I am quite proud of myself the way I get by with things.

I get by mainly on a sense of humour, really. Its the best way. Its the ONLY way.

I am a journalist by training, though i cant really ever be a journalist because I cant hear enough.

I like to write, always think I should try to explain to hearing people what it is like to be deaf through writing.. but seriously - i just cant be fucked!


Friday, May 21, 2004

In the middle of the night last night!

in the middle of the night last night, i woke up, and felt that my side of the bed was empty, and went "Oh My God, Jamin-kun hasn't come home! What could have happened? I hope he's at someones house!"

I seriously didn't know where i was, or what had happened. It gave me a fright. But then I remembered.

It was a lovely night in the end. My big brother, his wife and their new little baby came over for dinner, as did my little brother and his girlfriend - I hadnt realised they were all coming to say good bye to mum, so it was kind of good that i didnt make it to the Writers Festival, which I had told Jamin-kun I was definitely going to. It was just too far away, and I had a feelign the 'abstract poetry' would have sucked - also it was too far to try and get to see Salam Pax, who was speaking out at Parramatta.

Anyway, i just felt so tired and cold, and just wanted to be looked after by mum before she left, heh he hehh.

We (little brother, me and Mum) got up at 6:15am today! drve out to the airport, where mum nearly had a freakout that she had lost her ticket! Seriously almost had me chucking a fit because she did that whole openmouthed "Oh GOD THE TICKETS!" and then of course found them, and then of course held up the entire line while going through her backpack to get out clothes she forgot she needed for her night stop over in Japan!

Oh mother.

Then we went to the food court to have our traditional Airport McDonalds, and who should be playing there, but the crappy Australian boy band, Human Nature - there was some sort of Radio promotion, really sad actaully, and it was like Easy Listening mix 106.5 or somthing. Anyway, all these tired people who have just arrived in Australia are met by the whining of this awful boy band....Mum kept saying "oh, this band, what are they called again? Native Garden? They are lovely!" and we're like "no, its Human Nature,and they suck.
heh heh

So we got her on the plane - my friend from work called too, she was coincidentally leaving for Spain at the same time!! but i missed her, and so here I am now at work =- little brother gave me a lift back to the city, to the office, which was great.

Not much on the agenda tonight - the Ozops party is on, and my big sister and her husband are not coming up from the country til after lunch tomorrow, which means that i'll have dinner with them tomorrow night.

I'm looking forward to it in the way you can only look forward to seeing family when you feel cold and a bit empty.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Abysmal Life of Crayon

Yay!! my first ever post!

I started this blog cause I wanted to write...

I have been at work all day. Its cold outside. Raining i think.

Mum has just called, and I'll meet her at the top of the street in the city so she can pick me up.

I am having dinner with her tonight, leaving my boyfriend at home to have one last night with my mother before she flees the country in search of her life.

She will be in Italy this time on Friday.

It startles me to think that she will be thousands of kilometres away.

And i will still be here, working, eating, sleeping, fucking, drinking, showering, brushing my hair, catching the bus, making coffee, reading the paper, walking to the ferry, washing my clothes, calling my sister, emailing my friends, living living living my abysmal life.

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