Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Whoever started the stereotype that firemen were hot, certainly didn't live in any neighborhood I've lived in. Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather have a troop of non-attractive, competent firemen than Zoolanders with large hoses. These firemen were Rescue Me firemen, which makes sense, the show takes place in Boston, I live in Boston. Still, having Dennis Leary rush into our house, then come back out and say "Your smoke detector has low batteries, everything is fine." is a very anticlimactic result to a morning fire. And, what the fuck, what kind of smoke detector is designed to go off loudly and set off the other alarms in the house when it's low on batteries? Wouldn't a simple occasional beep be sufficient? Maybe the lights could go out or something?
With tragedy averted, Dale duct taped his broken car window and drove to work. I got dressed and headed to the coffeehouse to hang out with Celeste. Poor Celeste was still stuck in New York, where she had apparently been punched in the face while waiting for the Chinatown bus, because...well because the Chinatown bus sucks, never shows up when it's scheduled, and, according to yesterday's newspaper, has a tendency to go up in flames every other month or so. Suddenly, fifteen bucks to get from Boston to NYC isn't looking so hot good. I'd rather spend the extra ten bucks to go Greyhound, and live through the experience unscathed.
Because Celeste was not there, I volunteered to work her shift, even though I haven't so much as looked at a cup of coffee in two months. Apart from a few of the regulars asking me where I'd been, the shift was largely uneventful, until the last hour.
I was pouring out the coffee of the day (Mango Duck Chutney) when I noticed someone at the counter.
"of-course ?want this? ?want that?"
"that ?busy day?"
"not yes-not no ?coffee?"
And I suddenly realized I was signing to a stranger. A stranger had walked up to my counter and, without any introduction, begun speaking with me in pidgin sign language.
"no coffee thanks"
"?how you know I sign?" I asked.
"you fingerspell and" (mimes pouring) "coffee same time"
Right, I do have a tendency to fingerspell when I'm daydreaming. I wasn't aware you could notice that across a crowded room, though.
"William!" Did someone step on a bird with strep throat? No, it's just some obnoxious woman yelling at.... Who is she yelling at? "WILL-YUM" She's coming right at me. Ohhhhh.
"?name w-i-l-l-i-a-m?" I asked.
His eyes conveyed the question "Are you psychic?" while his fingers remained motionless.
"someone yell at you"
William turned around. "?what?" Then he signed something I couldn't see.
"Don't sign to me." She said. "I don't have a clue what you're saying."
"I thought we were supposed to sign to each other as much as possible so we could get fluent faster." His voice is...flawless. Deep, rich, and...not at all the voice of someone who can't hear their own voice.
"I don't have time for this." She says. "Do you have my muffin?"
"Yes." He says, holding up the bag.
"Is it hot?"
"No." I say.
She bristles that I have addressed her. She clearly wasn't asking for my input. "Well, heat it up then."
"I can't." I say. "No microwave or oven."
"Why not?" She asks.
William turns around and starts watching my lips. He definitely can't hear. I'm guessing, based on their conversation and his incredibly precise voice, that he only recently lost his hearing. And, that this cunt is his mother. "We're a coffeehouse, not a restaurant, per se. We just sell muffins, biscotti, and cookies."
"So buy a microwave to heat up muffins for people."
Twat. "We don't have room for a microwave. Plus, in the year I've worked here" this is a complete lie, I worked there for all of three or four months "you're the first person who ever asked to have their muffin heated."
"Well now I don't want it. So you just lost a customer. Maybe you should rethink your position on microwaves. Let's go William."
Yes, bitch. The $1.50 we just lost because you don't want a muffin will make me rush over to Best Buy RIGHT NOW to buy a microwave. Clearly, you win.
William looks like he just sat in water. "sorry" he says to me "mom" Then he turns away, pauses, turns back and says "see-ya"
"later" I reply.
"William!" Cunty McFucker shouts. "Let's go."
And because I have lost my tact when it comes to this woman, I look straight at her and say "He can't hear you, lady, he's deaf."
William's eyes telescope large.
"sorry" I sign.
"same" And his laugh sends me in orbit around the coffeehouse. I may never touch the ground again.