My fugitive neighbours.

Andrew and Holly are back in our lives in an abstract sense. Yann and I were standing under the carport behind our building when we watched someone wearing a hi-vis jacket exit the rear of the building next to ours.

Something was off: who leaves from the rear door only to go straight out front? We exit the rear to take out the garbage, get to the car, or smoke. In this instance, we were doing the latter two: smoking whilst leaning against the car.

Moments later, a bright light shone in our face and I jokingly said to Yann, “Oh, it’s a cop.”

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Is this consent?

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.

Close-up of a tattoo of a red and orange goose.
One scar is inside the wing while the other is next to the tip of the other wing.

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.

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What it’s like to be really, really, really ridiculously deaf.

September is Deaf Awareness Month. Last year, I wrote about the awkward questions hearing people frequently ask deaf people.

This year, I wondered whether I’d have anything to add to what’s already been put out there. It’s not yet October, but already, fun-sized treats are on the grocery store shelves. What can I share about deafness before everybody can go back to being unaware of the existence of deaf people?

Over the past three weeks, the message that has been put out by other members of the deaf community has pretty much been: “Totally deaf people are so rare, so we might as well pretend they don’t exist.”

Continue reading “What it’s like to be really, really, really ridiculously deaf.”