Maybe you've heard this one

"Did you hear the one about the girl who was deaf in one ear, but then brought hearing back with yoga?" I asked the girl who was leaning up against my car -- when I had a car -- that was parked in the garage.

"Nah uh," she said, but looked completely interested.

And so I told her.

"She was under a lot of stress in middle school, like we are. Just going through changes and lost hearing in her left ear. There was no medical reasoning for this. It just kind of happened. Still, she loved music. Listened, sang, experienced it. She fell in love, lost love. She loved life. Experienced it. She loved herself. She knew what she was good at. And, although she could only hear out of one hear, her thoughts were coming in loud and clear. Her head, as she said, was a fun place to be.

“If you’ve heard this one then you know. You know what happened when she started practicing yoga. Her happy mind took her places that explaining to you couldn’t even come close to describing, picturing. If you haven’t heard it then you don’t get to hear it from me. You’ll have to find her; I think she’s still in the Denver area. She’ll explain to you what I can’t -- I have hearing in both ears. How she transfixed her mind to manipulate her hearing sense, giving her balance. She’ll take you there if you let her. If you find her and get to know her -- it’s not hard -- she’ll most likely invite you back to her place to smoke a bowl. You should let her bring it up, though, the hearing thing. The story will come out naturally. If she doesn’t, don’t worry, don’t persist, don’t question her about it, but spend time with her and be patient. This is a story you want to hear from her if you haven’t heard it already.

"If you think you already heard this, chill, this could be a new version, there's more. So, she’s teaching this course at the State University. It’s a communication class – I know ironic, right? Cause she’s deaf in one ear. She’s an amazing teacher, though, and has amazing verbal communication skills. I guess she can write too, though I don’t know for sure because I haven’t read much of what she’s written, some, but not a lot. If she writes anywhere near as good as the way she tells some stories, you know, makes sense of situations and such, I’d bet she’s a damn good writer is all. She’s teaching this class, well she’s more like the lab instructor is what she is -- she doesn’t do the lectures is what I’m trying to say. Dr. Lindsay does those. Her name isn’t Dr. Lindsay. Lindsay must be her first name, but that’s what everybody knows her as and calls her, so that’s how I’ll refer to her, now. The lab instructor, though, the partially deaf one, is teaching the lab one semester and this boy is taking the lecture and the lab and has her.

“Well, he’s kind of unique in his own way, in how he communicates, too. He’ll say stuff that’s on his mind. Things pop into his head really fast and come out of his mouth almost as fast and be funny. Sometimes. They’ll be sort of thought provoking, too. Like you’ll hear him say something sort of literal and literary and link it up with something like the breakfast food that you had this morning or about a news piece you read recently. He’ll be kind of quick and humorous, but it’s the kind of humor that you don’t always laugh at at first but if you think about it, later you’ll smile and maybe even laugh out-loud at yourself at a time when nobody will understand why or even who you are.

“He’s not sure how he got this way but it could have had something to do with the amount of marijuana he was smoking that freshman year. Also, he credits his intuitiveness from his darkened vision in one eye. But his smoking was like her practiced yoga. He didn’t always do it with others, but sort of developed a mono method. His breathing was therapeutic; we know this to be similar. Seen it in others’ cases; it improves clarity, makes members limber. He says he smokes to forgive. And to forget. He’s been wronged once or twice. Has had terrible luck with some things. And this therapy, his self-prescribed regimen that he does, helps him cope. Puts the files in their proper drawers, he’ll tell you.

“Smoke a bowl with him and he’ll tell you that when he was little, like seven or eight, he was at summer camp, and that he was blasted in the head with a muddy stick that was thrown by another camper in a classic game known as throw mud and rocks and sticks, and sometimes muddy, rocky sticks at each other for fun. If this was a game, and it seemed to be, according to his story, he was the loser. See, he caught this one muddy stick in the eye and went down hard. When he came to, boys were over him, and he was in pain. He tried to open both eyes but couldn’t, could only open one. And if you can picture this 8-year boy, who's on the ground being helped up and has a swollen over eye, well I just wish I could describe it better. But he’s our only witness, so what I’ll describe, because I’ve heard it from him, is what I picture. Hear it from him, and this is what you get: There's a handful of boy campers hovering over him – very Lord of the Flies – wondering who to call for help, wondering how to undo what can’t be undone, wondering who threw the fateful stick, and him: helpless and asking for his mother, and blood flowing from his left eye ball.

“His vision is limited, and well…

“There’s a scar, of course. He doesn’t notice it always, it’s not like he is totally blind to this day, but there was damage done. He was wronged, struck with bad luck. When both eyes are open he can hardly tell. His right eye is real good and maybe over-compensates, is what I think. He can read. Reads a bunch. Likes to wear glasses because it helps, but doesn’t always because it’s not like glasses take away the dark spot that remains centered in his left eye’s vision field.”

"When we smoke we think. We close our right eyes to get the perception of who we have become. Sometimes, it’s a dark reality We tend to forgive the boy who threw that stick at my eye because what happened happens, and, really he didn’t mean it. We were just playing this game. There’s no vengeance. We forgive but we don’t forget.

"Evidently, nonsensically, these two, the girl with no hearing in her left ear, and this boy with limited vision in his left eye, met. In the class. She was his lab instructor. He, her student. She smiled at him – at everyone. That’s communication. They laughed a lot, and that’s communication, too. They began talking for real. Became friends, first. Then they split ways to experience parts of life. They were re-united once, then again, then again. When they got together, he’d talk to her in her good ear. When they shared a bed, she looked into his good eye, as he was on his left side. Their relationship changed as they got closer, but remained apart. Life was happening all around them, to them, without them. Birthdays kept occurring. And plans changed.

“'I fell for her,' he’ll say if you ask him, 'then she fell for me,' he thinks was the order. Either way, it happened. And, although he loved her for what she was to him, he says he’s happy that she was able to find another, even to couple without him.

“We tend to be experienced when we meet. Damaged, maybe even some. If it’s our hearing, our sight, our looks, you could be scarred emotionally as well as physically from life forces. I mean, accidents happen. People have bad luck in life,” is what I said to the girl, my captivated car leaner.

It’s our senses that create the memories of our lives.

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