Sunday, August 12, 2012

Conversations Lost With One of the Most Interesting People I Ever Knew

Conversation Lost, One of the Most Interesting People I Ever Knew

Sometimes I wish I had a friend I could talk to about anything.  I'm bored with just my own thoughts and it seems all but one of the new friends I am making have pretty strictly limited interests.  I know that the kind of friendship I'm discussing takes a long time to build, at least it usually does.  And chronologically it hasn't been two years yet since Ann's death.

But I Truly Miss having someone to talk to.  Ann was interested in my art and helped me execute the designs I saw in my mind by cutting the material out for me and double checking my sewing.  I seem unusually visually focused for a blind person and was honestly fascinated by Ann's description of her visual art.  She would describe a painting or drawing in great detail, colors, shades, what object was in front of or behind another, and then tell me what the work meant to her. 

Offten I come up with a question I'd like to hear her opinion about.  Or I meet a new person, and would appreciate her feedback about them. 

I stayed up late listening to the BBC and would bring Ann the news.  We would discuss it.  We also discussed religion and spirituality, we had different gifts in that area and understood things differently.  But we often prayed together for others.  Meditation or prayer on behalf of someone else Feels stronger when done With someone you trust and whose motives you know will be clean.

Ann was always more adventurous than me, but we both liked trying out new music and new food.  We also liked trying out new ideas in our personal lives to see if they worked.

We gardened together, processed food together, and read and discussed books together.  Sometimes we had to turn off an audiobook until we could stop laughing.  We would almost have stopped and one of us would say something to set the other one off and we would have to turn off the audio machine again, until we were Sure we were Truly done.

We ordered in food with a delivery place once or twice per month.  That and reading books together made up our celebrations.  Now it is too costly to order anything just for me.  Eating it alone isn't much fun, so I don't bother.

We made one or two trips a year to Barnes and Noble to pick out audio books together.  And when there was a great doll shop in town, we went there once or twice per year.  This was back in the days before the ice storm relocated us through several moves to the house I lost the following year to a tornado.

But one of the things I miss most is the way we teased and played with words.  We called one another "fishhead" when both being silly and feeling liking for the other.  That lead to what kind of a fish each thought the other was, names like "fish lips" etc.  And we played with words, making up our own.  One of us would call the other "rotten".  The other would say "Well at least I'm not rottenacious, that means rotten all the way through."  Then the come back "Yah, but you’re an Outstanding member of the Rotery Club."  And "better an outstanding member than the Life Long President."

We had Head jokes,  Ann had a rounded forehead and a rounded head which I said looked like a furry bowling ball.  Her response was that I had such a flat high forehead because either my mother dropped me or I ran into too many walls before my bones could form Normally into a Proper Round Head like hers.

We had hair jokes, she had "curly brains" which couldn't think straight.  (Ann had curly auburn hair).  And I had flat borring brains.

Ann said she had a Classical Greek nose, like all the famous statues.  She said I,  on the other hand, had a Barbie nose from Scotland or England, but that it looked interesting on my kind of Native American face.  I was pretend insulted, saying her note was a sausage, sticking straight out of her face like that.  And I was summarily told that I had a "dish face", like an Arabian horse and should consider wearing glasses to fill in the Hole under my forehead before my nose began.

The thing is, all of this sound cruel when written down.  But we worked on being as silly as we could about it and were laughing.  The things we Really had differences about, problems with, were discussed, not encoded in cruel jokes.

I had to 'fess up to the damned Barbie nose.  I had an uncle we called uncle Eagle Beak or Uncle Hose Nose.  He was Cherokee-Osage.  His nose came Straight out of his forehead, had a slight bump on the slope ddown, (the ski slope) and turned under in a hook.  He used to pullgently on my nose and tell me I would be a pretty girl if I could Just grow a longer nose.  I would like a female version of his nose.  Before Cher had her face changed, (I have a 1970's doll of Cher which isn't a Barbie)  her nose reminded me a bit of my uncle's.

I could ask Ann what people looked like and she would describe them, nearly always coming up with something interesting or beautiful about them.  We both liked Cher's original nose.

We didn't take vacations, or go anywhere much.  Our lives were not exciting by anyone's standards.  We had many conflicts and misunderstandings and one hell of a lot of fun.

Ann enjoyed me swearing when she tossed a very cold cup of water on me out the window while I sat outside on the porch swing after garden work.  That one word all the neighbors could hear made her laugh.  And I enjoyed her squeals when I came in with a snow ball or got a piece of ice to drop down her back.  We had a couple of water fights.

We scared a couple of cab drivers, discussing whose cane was best to beat the other up with.  I had the reach with my white cane, but Ann's support cane was solid oak.  People were Horrified at the thought of two disabled people getting into a fight, until one of us gave it away by laughing.  Then we would both laugh and so would the cabby, in Relief.

Now there is no one to discuss books with, do extensive word play with, look at maps with when reading about another country, drop ice or snow on, joke with, or talk to about nearly anything.

All but one  of my friends have only specific subjects in which they are interested, and those are the limits of conversation. If I push it further they either Tell me how it Is, or just mentally ignore me.    We used to call it being "flexi-headed" when we could start with one topic and in the course of a discussion end up on many related ones.  Is some ways, many, we agreed on things.  But often Ann's comments made me think about things somewhat differently and I miss that, too.  She would have loved, ASL, and TASL, and would have joined me at sign language classes and enjoyed meeting my current deaf-blind instructor very much.  I often run across something good and think, "Ann, I wish you were here, you would really enjoy this!  Enjoy it through my thoughts, if you want."

But given her curiosity level, Ann is off exploring, nosing around into new realms of experience. 

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