Roaches, Swimming and ASL

By BitcoDavid

People meet and teach each other ASL for free.  Image Credit: BitcoDavid
People meet and teach each other ASL for free.
Image Credit: BitcoDavid

We had a pretty good sized group at last night’s ASL meetup. I brought along a trusty friend – my little Kodak 5X, and had just snapped the 2nd shot of the night, when one of the group members told me that mall-cops don’t like cameras. I was confused, but I told him not to worry because I can outrun those little Segues they ride around on. My mind flashed on my potential mug-shot. Wanted Dead or Alive for shooting pictures at Northshore Mall. I can only hope that they’d cell me up with Felix.

But all this interaction took place in Sign.

The group is so amazingly supportive and helpful. I never feel like I’m slowing down the action, and nobody objects to having to repeat signs over and over for me, as I struggle to understand them. A young, teenaged girl – not a member – saw us signing and came over with her friend, and struggled through telling us that she had aspirations of someday teaching Sign. She was welcomed with open arms, and invited back.

All this and group therapy too. Talk turned to exercise, and I mentioned that I don’t swim. After some surprise amongst the others, I spoke of my lifelong fear of water and bugs. It’s funny, I’m not afraid of much – I mean, I climb into a ring with a bone-breaker once a week, and that’s for fun – but I’m afraid of water above my waist, and bugs. I told one member, Elaine, that I have to tell my wife to kill bugs, because I’m too busy crying like a baby. Spiders are alright, but roaches – and especially things like Yellow Jackets and wasps  and I’m reduced to a bowl of quivering Jello.

Image Credit: BitcoDavid
Image Credit: BitcoDavid

One time, living in a rooming house in Boston’s Back Bay, I saw a roach the size of a loaf of bread. The thing must have been the Queen. Do roaches have Queens? Anyway, this guy was a lobster. What do you think I did? I ran out the door, screaming, and crashed at a friend‘s house for a few days. I remember the trepidation with which I reentered my room, hoping that  this sci-fi creature from a post apocalyptic dystopia had simply chosen to move on. If not, I would have certainly ceded the apartment to him.

So water, bugs – oh, and dentists. Only with dentists it’s more a matter of contempt than fear. Well, now you know.

And all this ribaldry took place in Sign. All that was missing was Marsha Graham. We’re still ironing out the tech required to get her to participate as a virtual member.

I would never have had the good fortune of meeting these people, had I not undertaken to learn ASL.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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