I got a kinder, gentler haircut today. It’s two months since I told Graysin, the very young man who cuts my hair, that I needed a badass haircut because I was about to go to war with the forces opposed to providing tents to homeless people. That crisis is behind me now, I told him. “I’m going to visit my daughter for her birthday, so I need to look less….” “Mean?” he asked, laughing. Yeah, less mean.
There is much trust involved in my taking off my hearing equipment. When I see Graysin, we quickly exchange pleasantries and then we go right to the hair. We discuss the strategy for this time, the look I want, and then, when the conversation stops, I ask, “Are we done talking?” and he says, “Yes” and I take my cochlear implant receiver and my hearing aid off and lay them on the table next to my earrings and from that moment on, I hear nothing. I know he talks sometimes to the other stylists, but I don’t know what he says. I trust him. There is a sweet feeling to that.
My hearing aid has been banging all day. Without obvious provocation, my hearing aid has been doing its big PING PING PING thing that it does when the battery is dying. When this happens and I am with people, I get a faraway look and they wonder what’s happening. I want to say to them: my ears are everything. I am my ears. I cannot confront the world until my ears tell me it’s okay. When you see someone with hearing aids or a cochlear implant, you need to know there’s a lot going on in their heads that you don’t know about.
The cat has been asserting himself lately. I like our foster cat, Herc, an awful lot. He sleeps on our bed at night and walks over our heads in the morning. He also regularly pees in Punchy’s bed and somehow misses the litter box with some of his larger deliveries. He pads around my desk and tries to chew the cords to the blinds, then he nibbles the grass I planted for him in a little pot and slides off the clipboard where I took notes yesterday during an important meeting. His imperfect self is at home here. We know why.
I sent my daughter and her family a ping pong table because I remember my dad’s amazing wrist action on his ping pong serve. Of course, I never told him that I appreciated his serve or his piano playing or his way with a pool cue because I was too wrapped up in thinking he never really cared about me. But he did. He just said it in ping pong and not words.