I See You
Dear professors, student/peers, people at the gym, people at the grocery store, and everyone I come into contact with daily,
I see the way you look at me. I see the look in your eyes when you look at me. I see when you look me up and down and I see the sneer you give. I see the hatred and/or disgust that is on your face when I enter your view.
I hear the tone of your words and how your voice changes when you talk to me. I hear when you talk to my peers like the adults they are, with the basic respect they deserve, and with the typical speed that is the intonation of your voice. I hear when your voice dips an octave and when your cadence falls and slows to a mockery of everything I am when you speak to me or with me. I hear your opinions of me in your voice. I can also see your signing change when you converse with me too (I’m looking at you, Deaf people). I see your body language visibly change and I see your signs becoming sarcastic. Many times you don’t even try to hide it; a feature of the Deaf community is its bluntness.
I feel the difference in your energy when you see me or when I walk into a room or when I walk past you or when I need something from you. I don’t have to be a “woo woo” believer or empathetic to be able to feel the difference; it’s pretty fucking noticeable. Sometimes even your physical appearance changes, whether you are Deaf or not. I can see that as well. I also feel your eyes on my back when I walk away.
Look at this picture. Look how you look when you are looking at me.
Look how you look when you’re looking at me.
Look how you look when you look at me.
Every single fucking day.
Dammit, I am so fuh-king sick of this. I am so sick of these interactions.
My family and friends wonder why I don’t leave my house anymore. This is why.
So to all of you people who I have mentioned, and everyone else I couldn’t add,
I see you.