Alexplorer Goes Time Traveling...

If you're just joining this series already in progress, then it means you don't have a time machine, so here's the short version: Every Tuesday (your present), I come back from my adventures time-traveling around MySpace and fill you in on what happened to people from my past as they keep slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.

Ah, here's one now...


Jayne (not her real name) was a year younger than I was in high school, so we only had one class together.  She was also hearing-impaired with only about 10% remaining in one ear since sometime in her childhood when a fever slashed and burned its way around her cochlea.  She was conspicuous for having an interpreter in all her classes, but in spite of this, she was defiant that she was not handicapped .

Truthfully, she was more than highly functional.  A hearing aid coupled with a well-honed lip reading ability and an in-your-face personality (the requisite position for optimum lip reading, btw) all meant she was firmly rooted in hearing-world culture.  She didn't like other hearing-impaired folks, and she pretty much trashed a lot of the ones she knew around campus to us.  Hey, as long as she had her back to them, how would they know?  Fortunately, she didn't distance herself so much from her condition that she didn't teach me a bunch of sign language so we could "talk" across a noisy bar whenever we went out.

Actually, I really didn't get to know her (or sign language) all that well until we started hanging out together in college a couple years after I graduated.  By the time we reconnected in college she had had breast reduction surgery down to a more manageable size that I preferred.  Her voice was of that high-pitched nasal variety common to hearing-impaired individuals and Jewish mothers-in-law, but you really didn't notice since you were usually concentrating on making sure she understood what you were saying.

I remember her telling me about how one guy told her in high school that he always wanted to date her because of her breasts, but that he didn't want to ask her out because of her voice.  To me this translates as, "Hi, I'm attracted to you because I'm shallow, but I'm too shallow to actually do anything about it."

For better or worse, one of the guys who did actually ask her out her senior year was Mitch (not his real name either), a guy I was friends with a couple years earlier who I'll probably never get to do a time-traveling episode about on account of the fact he's paranoid after making so many enemies over the years and presently has his profile locked down to private.  As you might guess from that run-on summary, Mitch was an asshole.  However, that was sort of what Jayne needed in a relationship.

Like many people with disabilities, Jayne hated that she was treated differently, usually by people tip-toeing around her impairment.  That completely pissed her off, not the least of which because you don't need to tip-toe around a deaf person!  In contrast with the non-sociopathic majority of society, Mitch never respected anyone.  Jayne told me a few years afterward how the two of them were fooling around in his car one night and she had taken out her hearing aid.  It was dark since they were parked on a back road.  He said something, but she couldn't read his lips.

"What," she asked.

He repeated it, but she still couldn't make it out.

"What," she asked again.

"What are you deaf?!" he asked obnoxiously, knowing exactly what he was saying.

She busted up laughing.  That was a bigger turn-on for her than anything because she wanted to be treated like everyone else.  Along similar lines was a favorite joke my roommate Jack told her about how you ask a deaf person if they want to buy a chicken, but it's very visual, so I'll have to save it for some other time.

I don't have a lot of details about her current life.  Her MySpace profile sat vacant for years before she finally got around to getting on the bandwagon with the rest of the time-travel crowd.  She recently tracked down Cathleen on here and added her to her friend list, although the two of them haven't really spoken much.  The only information I really know about her at this point in the timestream is she's apparently dating a redneck with a thing for Christina Ricci-a-likes.

Hypothetical letter I'll probably never send to her:

You think this week's Time-Travel episode is bad, you ought to see the trash Alex talks about me in next week's Time-Travel episode.

Your worst Best Friend ever,


Copyright 2008 Ale[x]plorer.  All photos are of the actual individuals described above because, seriously, I can't make this shit up.
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