On May 13, 2007, an acquaintance of mine invited me to dinner with his family. His young grandson crept up behind me, held up his new talking Shrek, and pulled its ring. However, I just stood, transfixed, as if in shock. He turned to his grandfather. ”I don’t think KEV could hear it,” he explained to the young boy. We then sat down to a fantastic spread his mother had cooked, and I was surprised what a wonderful time I had with them, despite the fact I couldn’t even hear my own voice.
At the time, I was still living outside, because never having had a home or family life had made me claustrophobic. I figured being extremely obese protected me from the cold, though being damp was another thing, and then finally one day I lost my hearing. This was indeed the most disconcerting time of my life. I found trivial things like being unable to hear my own footsteps or urination to be terrifying. I felt so dead all the time I’d pray for the neighbors to have a loud raucous party so I could feel alive for just a little while. (Up close, though, sharp noises could often be distorted, loud, and quite painful.) I had, in fact, heard the kid’s Shrek, but it was so faint that my brain told me it was a block away, rather than a few inches. One day when driving, I thought I heard a siren a couple miles away from me, eleven o’clock relative to my position. For some strange reason, though, I decided to reject this cue; I immediately pulled over and slammed on the brakes. The ambulance turned out to be at seven o’clock and inches away from my rear bumper! (I correctly perceived the sound to originate left of me but could no longer judge distance. I wish I could invent some kind of GPS to show deaf people the location of a siren.) I was told I had nearly a 70 percent hearing loss and needed medical intervention, but I didn’t have the money to go to a doctor and buy medication.
Upon my return that day to the woods in which I dwelt, I dragged my big TV out that I had just recently purchased and plugged it into one of my extension cords. I turned the closed captioning on, turned the volume up all the way, and my nose was practically touching the screen, but I still could barely hear anything at all. What was annoying was that many commercials weren’t closed captioned; one of the ones that wasn’t said, “Get your mother a spy kit for Mother’s Day!” I scratched my head, thinking, how can that be? A spy kit? Let’s see. What could they really have said that sounded like “spy kit” that would actually be a Mother’s Day present? Hmm. Let’s see. Hmm. Uhh … “spa kit”? Yeah. That makes more sense. A spa kit for Mother’s Day. Of course, if I were a mother I’d really rather have the spy kit for Mother’s Day. That’d be much more exciting than some stupid spa—then I gasped because I realized I still had a few dollars! I quickly jumped into my car and headed across town to buy a spy kit. Why hadn’t I thought of that before?
After buying the spy kit, which had a hearing aid in it, I held it up to a pay phone because I wanted to call a credit card company to find out what my balance was. They had placed a thousand creds in my account! So, after I picked my jaw up off the floor, I went to the doctor and got my hearing back.
When I could hear again, I couldn’t recognize anyone’s voice, not even my own. I was told that happens sometimes. They don’t know why. I had to get used to my own voice all over again. But it was a most memorable Mother’s Day, especially since it was one of many examples of God meeting all my needs.