fter Deaf Day number one, I was feeling very confident in my ability to communicate. I placed my orange earplugs in with an air of confidence, grabbing my pocket-sized notebook and pencil as I ran out the door. If I could have a good day around people who don’t know any ASL, I was certain I could have a great day around people who did. The five of met at the mall near Amber’s house to eat at the food court, then we all caravanned to her house to watch “The Phantom Of the Opera” without sound. Overall it was a good day, although none of us five really knew any of the others outside of class. I think it would have been a blast if we had known each other better. I always wanted to speak a language that only a select few around me knew, get stared at in envy a little, and now we could sit in the food court and make a spectacle of ourselves. It was fun to have that wish come true.
The food court was great. I chose to go to Subway, because I knew I could tell the girl exactly what I wanted to eat. I wrote down the sandwich I wanted on my pad of paper, down to the smallest detail, and handed it to her. She took a look at the top line, “Turkey on Italian Herb and Cheese”, then handed me the notebook back. When she asked me if I wanted cheese, I handed her the notebook again, and her lips asked me if she could keep it. I nodded. I guess that was enough for her, because she started chattering small talk at me while she made my sandwich. I shook my head no and pointed to my ears, then shrugged my shoulders. She seemed to understand that I couldn’t hear her. I paid, then took a seat in the middle of the bustling cafeteria with the other four girls. We chatted back and forth, and people from all over the cafeteria were staring at us. It was kind of fun to be the center of attention for a while, but I think it would get old fast if people everywhere I went wanted to stare at my conversations.
The five of us then caravanned back to Amber’s house to watch the movie. One of the girls had brought her copy of The Phantom of the Opera, the Andrew Lloyd Webber version. I was a little excited because I grew up listening to Phantom, and I knew all the music and loved the musical itself, knowing every word to all the songs on the soundtrack. But I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to separate the music I knew from what was happening on the screen, even if I couldn’t hear it. While this was partially true, I did notice that the movie had a completely different feel without the music. The Phantom himself I had always thought of as attractive and cool in a really creepy way. The music gets all rock and roll and awesome when he’s around, and he has a voice that would make you fall in love with him if he didn’t like killing people so much. All his attractive points are removed without the sound. He just becomes this crazy thing living in the basement. I also found that I got bored really fast. I found myself checking my watch to see when it would be over about every fifteen minutes, towards the end. I was relieved when the credits rolled.
After we chatted for a while and played with Amber’s cats, we started trickling home. It was a good time, and I feel like I have more of a friendship with those girls than I had previously. It was nice to get to know people from class. Also, it was fun to see what a musical without sound is like, and great to be the center of attention for a while in the mall food court. I had a really good day, and I would certainly do that again. In fact, I wonder what a musical with more dancing is like… Maybe it’s CC musical night at my house tonight!