"Sometimes it felt like watching an aquarium and the contained, mute politics that take place there. I learned their language growing up but what I could hear was somehow inferior to their clear, vivid orderly environment. In some reversal of things, I and the other hearing people were snowglobed away in our own little city and it was removed by a dome of glass from the nation of two who were my parents.
Their hands were as audible to me as speech when I walked in the door and my mother would smile and sign
"Hi Anastasia, how was school?"
or my father would call me into the kitchen to "help me with peeling the shrimp for dinner."
It wasn't the literal quiet, it was that I knew that they would have preferred a deaf child, knew from the conversations within their circle of deaf friends that they were in better-standing for having married one another, rather than a hearing person. I stood outside, no matter how blood-close or fluent I became.
"Kali mera, Baba," I'd mouth and sign good morning.
"Kali mera, Anastasia." he'd reply, mixing up the batter for Sunday pancakes. I moved to the fruit bowl, the fridge and begin to slice the banana into creamy, spider-hearted discs, sprinkle a handful of pecans into one batch--my husband's favorite--and dark chocolate chips for my mother. In that way we worked, our hands too busy with the task of cooking for speech and the choreography of morning, family and close playing itself out silently." from Season...