I'm a Deaf vagabond currently living on Vancouver Island. Bicycles dominate my life, but I also make time for climbing, hiking, camping, and cats. And if I have time left over after all that, I write about it.
Passengers of the 7pm Wednesday sailing from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen were treated to a spectacle. People rose from their seats and flocked to the front of the boat. I happened to be seated at the front, so I took the cue and got up for a better look. It was a beautiful sight, the sun was shining, and the boat was squeezing in-between the Southern Gulf Islands. A lone crew member was on the deck, resting his arms on the railing, but I was fairly sure he wasn’t meant to be the spectacle.
Some of the passengers migrated to the starboard windows while others returned to their seats. Curious about what had just happened, I tapped a message on my phone and showed it to the woman seated across from me, “I am deaf, I have noooooo idea what just happened.”
Since entering my 30s, I’ve learned how to receive compliments. I have also learned that compliments are often used by men as bait to get women talking to them. For some, paying a compliment entitles them to a woman’s attention.
A plus of being deaf (as deaf as I am, anyway) is being blissfully ignorant of any catcalls that are sounded my way. For these volunteering their opinions about me out loud, not getting any reaction out of me must be maddening. It’s glorious.
On occasion, some bozo tries to override my inability to hear by following me.
I’ve been in Victoria for five months, and it’s already happened three times. Most recently, I was sitting on a bench scrolling through social media, getting annoyed with people on the internet, when I noticed a shadow cast over me.
It was going to be a warm day, so before leaving, I made sure to freshen the cats’ water dish. I waved goodbye to Bubble who was tucked into a cat loaf on the couch. Enfoiré, our round son, was neither on the couch nor in the cat tree. I checked the bed: not there. On the fridge with his front paws hanging over the freezer door? Nope. Had he slipped into the washroom without me noticing and was now gnawing on the plastic shower curtain? No.
In under 24 hours, I had lost my phone AND eighteen-pound cat!
In 2008, along with 2 others, I entered one of the larger caves in Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. Fifteen minutes later, we got spit out in a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike. I only mention this because Being John Malkovich is my favourite movie and has been since it was released 20 years ago. If you haven’t seen it, I can guarantee that it’ll be more interesting than this post.
I’ve just encountered something unpleasant in the bathroom that I hadn’t seen in a long time. It wasn’t the reflection of the giant zit on my neck in the mirror as that will be gone in a few days. (The zit, not the mirror.)