If you think only important news should be captioned, it means the deaf community will only have access to the depressing stuff. Right after I uploaded the previous post, I started on a new post explaining how I came to move out of the parents’ place at 17.
Halfway through the post, I thought, “This is pretty melancholy so far. Do I want to post something like this immediately after writing about my inaccessibility woes?”
So, I ditched that post and instead put my energy into creating accessible content for YouTube.
The fond memories tied to the Langley house mentioned in my last post mostly happened outside the house rather than inside it.
My parents made the decision to relocate to Langley in 1995 after my siblings moved out to free me from a life of continued isolation.
There, I was within walking distance from my school and eight deaf kids with whom I had varying degrees of friendship.
It was the best thing they’d ever done for me. I could have done without the big house with the 800-gallon fish tank in the rec room, hot tub, pristine living room carpet, a backyard that was a mushroom paradise, and so on.
None of that mattered as much as being close to my friends.
1. I’m exceptionally fast at throwing words up on the screen. My average is over 100 words per minute, and I can type in bursts of 130wpm, which puts me in the top 1%. This is almost meaningless, especially as I’m prone to repetitive strain injuries. At best, it allows me to make Boomers feel inadequate.
2. I have excellent circadian rhythm. Ask me what time it is, and I’m usually able to correctly guess within a 15-minute range. I don’t need an alarm clock to wake up (many deaf people use either a flashing or a vibrating alarm clock). Jet lag doesn’t seem to affect my internal clock: I can still get up at 5am Japan Standard Time if needed, and I have!
3. I have the world’s most airtight asshole. Of course, I fart, but I do so within the confines of a washroom, or when I’m alone. I never fart in public. The ex with whom I lived for more than five years can vouch for this, as can Yann, my co-habitator of three years. This is a skill I’ve developed out of what I believe to be basic decency.
But enough about me. Please now direct your attention to…
The other day, someone came into the bike shop for a hub repack. This is when we remove the axle and replace the bearings (either loose or sealed). What are loose or sealed bearings, you might be wondering?
It doesn’t matter.
As the guy handed over his wheel to Yann, he mumbled something about how he would have done it himself. Yann was technically still on his break, so the job was passed on to me.
Before I got my chest piece done, I needed to get rid of two moles from my chest. Unlike moles, you can tattoo over scars as long as they’ve fully healed.
It’s not uncommon to get moles removed for non-cosmetic reasons, so I did not need to justify my superficial reasoning. I can’t remember whether the doctor I ended up seeing was a specialist that required a referral from another doctor. It happened so long ago, but based on how the procedure went, the only thing this doctor specialized in was being presumptuous. Obviously, I don’t remember his name but for the sake of this story, let’s call him Dr. Clown.
After telling Dr. Clown what I needed, he gestured for me to take my shirt off and lie on the examination table. He cleaned the skin and then snipped the two moles off with surgical scissors. He finished the job by slapping a single adhesive bandage over the wounds, which meant the sticky parts were over the wounds instead of the square of gauze. This was a real head-scratcher, but I had gotten what I wanted. I was in and out of his office in less than ten minutes. Twenty years I’ve had these moles on my chest, and they were now in the medical waste bin in Dr. Clown’s office. Or perhaps he tacked them to his corkboard? He didn’t seem to be much of a stickler when it came to following medical protocol.
I am not giving the condensed version of this story: at no point did Dr. Clown explain the procedure and what to expect. He gave no aftercare instructions. It was uncomfortably abrupt.
Hearing people limiting their interaction with me is nothing out of the ordinary. When it comes to medical procedures, though, skimping on the details is flat out negligence.