Blogging Like I've Never Blogged Before

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

On my way home today, a group of high school city kids all got on the subway. About eight of them. If you live in a city, you know that high school kids treat public transportation the same way suburb kids treat their basements -- almost anything goes. You can curse, drink beer you're not supposed to, make out with your girlfriend, pee in a Snapple bottle... anything!

So as you can imagine, it can be very annoying to be on a subway car with these kids because many are obnoxious. The kids all got on, I read the paper, preparing for the onslaught of cursing and laughing at anything and everything else that gets done. But there was silence. Yet from the corner of my eye, I could see that they were still all looking at each other and doing something. So I look up and they are all using sign language.

It was so bizarre. I was totally expecting to hear the normal, "Oh shit, nigga" or "Oh, word?" or "I'm tellin' you, son." But none of that. At least, none that I could tell, because I don't understand sign language. It was really interesting to watch them, because they were pretty spread out, but they were all talking to each other. And then they were making fun of this one girl (actually, I don't know if they were making fun of her, but one pointed to her and most laughed, one shook his head as if to say he disagreed, so I'm just assuming), and I thought that was a great quality about being deaf. You can openly talk about someone who is standing in between you and the person you are having the conversation with, and they'll have no idea, unless of course they know sign language.

Anyway, I really took a liking to these kids. There was one that you could tell was the funny one. He told a story to the rest of them that was about two minutes long and they all watched his hands and his facial expressions, which were great. He would also occasionally mouth a few words, and he definitely said "fuck" more than once. Normally when kids curse, I don't like it. But with a deaf kid, it was like a novelty. I thought, Hey, look at the deaf kid cursing. How 'bout that? I even found myself enjoying the story, although I had no idea what it was about.

So I guess what I'm saying here is that I wish everyone between the ages of 10 and 19 was deaf.
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