My husband is a bit deaf. As a result he frequently doesn’t hear what other people say. And sure, lots of people don’t hear things, and lots of people say “What?” and you have to repeat yourself. But Brad’s different. Brad does hear things. He hears weird things that don’t make any sense and then he gives you an incredulous look and says “Did you say ‘Look at me I’m a walkway?’” and you respond with the same incredulous look and say “Why on earth would I say that?” because what you really said was that you’d love a cup of tea. It’s especially weird when he actually began the conversation by offering tea. I frequently ask him to think for a moment before giving me the “You’re crazy” look – sometimes it just isn’t justified.
One day as we were driving, I glanced out the side window and saw a council worker on the footpath, beating another council worker with a hammer. I sort of screamed a little, and was about to tell Brad we should do something … when I realised that firstly, the guy who had been hit didn’t seem to have been injured at all, and secondly that the guy doing the hitting wasn’t swinging a hammer – he didn’t even have a hammer. He was digging a hole in the ground while his friend watched.
Brad says I see the things that he hears.
That same day, on the same drive even, I saw a man in those big orange waterproof fishing overalls, standing next to the road holding a fishing line. Like, he was fishing on the road. He’d caught a dog on the end of the line. For that one I had to look really hard to work out that he almost certainly wasn’t fishing for dogs by the side of the road. It was far more likely that he was just walking a dog – on a leash, not a fishing line. And in fact, he wasn’t even wearing orange overalls – he was wearing a navy tracksuit.
Who sees these things? It’s like I catch a glimpse of one tiny detail and then my brain fills in the blanks with the most outrageous stories.
At 4:30 this morning, we were stumbling back to our hotel. (Well, that isn’t fair. The boys weren’t stumbling. I was stumbling a little – more because I was wearing those hot red shoes which I’m not quite used to yet than because I was drunk) As we passed the Tropicana, I glimpsed a white streak. Then suddenly it was rushing at me and barking and I flinched, because I was startled and because I’m actually really scared of dogs. (Thank you, Silent Hill). Then I turned to face the threat – and realised it was just a plastic bag floating in the breeze.
Kasey said it was a Kitty Brick moment.
I probably could have told this as a kitty brick style haiku story … but then I got talking and before I knew it I’d written way more than seventeen syllables. Sorry about that.