Hear Hear

I was too disturbed to write this yesterday, having had one more unfortunate incident concerning my hearing, or rather lack of.

A guy I recently worked with decided to write an email telling me how I should feel and act in regards to my hearing loss.

Let me say, the arrogance of this left me speechless along with properly pissed. It wasn’t a kind missive either, packed with contempt and judgment by someone who I’ve only been extremely kind to.

I truly didn’t see it coming either, like a sniper shooting.

You see, no one ever thinks it could ever happen to them. I certainly didn’t.

I never expected to be without one of my chief senses in the last stage of my life.

That said…

I was upset feeling assaulted once again by someone I know and felt comfortable with. Now of course I won’t, like when you get bitten by a dog, you’re sadly never relaxed in its presence again.

So I licked my wounds all weekend waking up Monday deciding, that’s enough Susannah, press on best you can.

Right foot, left foot…and for the record, that’s exactly what I do, even if it doesn’t look that way to someone else.

After coffee I strolled down Lex to visit Rosie the cat like I do every morning. I see a tall, teenage kid standing on Rosie’s corner.

I watched Rosie run to him like an old friend as he crouched down to pet her, whispering in her furry ear.

Get out your hankies.

This gentle, young man was clearly mentally challenged… walking, talking at half throttle making me tear up as I watched him sweetly nuzzle Rosie.

It was as though they had their own language, and they did…it’s called acceptance.

I don’t care for the term mentally retarded, but that’s what we had here, and it didn’t just occur either. This fella has lived with his disability from day 1.

It’s what I needed to see…someone who has been fiercely tested his whole life over something he has no control over.

How many times did someone lose patience with him hurling an insult, making fun of his limitations or just giving unsolicited advice that did nothing but make matters worse. Did he too throw himself across his bed weeping wanting to jump out the window so he wouldn’t hurt anymore?

How often has he felt alone and isolated apart from the rest of the world? And trust me, this is how you feel when you’re missing your parts.

I didn’t want him to see me cry because he certainly doesn’t feel sorry for himself.

But I walked home feeling blessed I still have eyes to see with, and a mind lucid enough to be reminded, there are others who struggle.

I’m not alone.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, Gratitude, Health, humor, Love, New York City and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Hear Hear

  1. AF says:

    Just beautiful!


  2. katecrimmins says:

    First off there is nothing like a furry critter to make the world feel better. Second no one and I mean no one should lecture unless they have walked in your shoes. As I’ve gotten older I have become more tolerant because I understand limitations better. Maybe I just needed to experience a few to understand but even in my stupid, self-absorbed youth I would never advise someone about something I know nothing about. Beautifully written and touchingly kind.


    • I know you’ve had your trials. I’m naively still amazed at the reaction of others concerning a person’s plight. Maybe it makes them nervous…what if it’s contagious…I really don’t know what the explanation is. I’m so much more empathic than I was and I wasn’t all that insensitive before, but now…all bets are off when I encounter anyone remotely at a loss.

      Nice what you wrote 🙂


  3. Arthur Seder says:

    A moving post Susannah. I’m glad for your chance to bear witness to a loving interaction, and sorry that you had to be subjected to mindless and hurtful advice-giving. I think a lot of people with (relatively) intact faculties (sometimes excepting kindness) assume that those who’ve suffered a debilitating loss are somehow the kind who can “handle” it – that it’s OK for them because only a person who’s comfortable with it has it happen to them. Of course that’s complete bullshit. Just because someone copes with a physical deficit (as you do), doesn’t mean that they don’t wish for (and deserve) wholeness. Don’t try to tell me that Marlee Matlin, say, or Stevie Wonder, or the boy you saw with Rosie, don’t fundamentally hate their condition. Another nail in the coffin of a just universe.


    • I’m tough by nature with a fragile patina to my overall being, if that makes any sense. I’m becoming afraid to even talk to anyone for fear I’ll get whacked. The more time I spend alone the better I feel…but I need to go to work where most of this unpleasantness tends to stem from. Thanks for writing.


  4. MJ says:

    Another of your many poignant posts that, in a few lines, reveals the preciousness of a person who’s been marginalized. This sweet young man probably experiences even crueler disregard for his dignity than, say, the homeless, because homelessness isn’t innate, while he was born with vulnerabilities that invite abuse. That this could have happened to any one of us is a scary reflection, and for every passer-by who’s inspired to be kind, there must be others who distance themselves in denial. But not you, Susannah; you’ve used your art to present him in all his grace.
    The e-mail matter is mind-boggling. I’ve had similar experiences with people I’d thought had more insight and sensitivity, and it’s really disappointing—for want of a better word. Someone you’d thought had some depth turns out to be shallow. Well, now you know.


    • You write so beautifully MJ and I appreciate it so. It was hard for me to print that post…but I needed to air it…get it out of me because it was becoming just too big to carry.

      That young boy did touch my heart…his innocence. I needed to be reminded how things could be much darker than they are. There are no accidents as they say, and seeing him was a sign to get on with things.

      People will always mystify me with their crude assumptions in relation to verbal and cyber liberties. Makes me want to hide and never venture out. The guy who wrote to me lacked heart…only way to describe it.


  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, what a great attitude. I sometimes forget about your hearing problem because your writing is so uplifting and entertaining. We all have our crosses to bear, some obvious, some not.


    • I try not to dwell on it…it is what it is and the great thing about writing is my hearing, such at is, just comes along for the ride.

      I was upset over that incident and needed to get it out of my heart onto the page, and it almost didn’t make it. Don’t like to whine and was afraid that’s how it would seem…but that boy changed my mind. He was such a light Skinny.


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