1o5. the deaf and the… racist?


Working Sundays is fairly low-key. Open the building for the Indian dance group. Chill in the upper building, talking to those who wander in and answering phones, directing people to open studio (ceramics) or Patty’s dance rehearsals. I’m freezing, making hot chocolate every couple of hours and pretending I can feel my fingers. Outside, the leaves scent the air, sweet and earthy.

A woman and two middle-school-aged girls come in. They come directly to the office. Sitting up straighter, I mouth the time-honored phrase every receptionist asks. “Hello! How can I help you?” I address the question to the blonde woman. She turns to one of the girls, and starts signing. I blink, then continue blinking at the question the girl voices. “Hi. We’re, um, here to pickup a mailbox?” Ten minutes and a phonecall later, I find out she’s here from a craigslist-type website, is indeed in the right place, and look! There’s the ‘mailbox’- an old payment-drop box.

Business done, the group is fascinated by the building. They ask, “What is this place?” I start rattling off our classes, telling them about the community arts center. They watch the dance rehearsal going on. They wander the ceramics studio. On of the open-studio goers talks to them as well. When they come back to the office, they ask about my knitting-loom, and we talk about classes and community service hours. All three are active in the conversation, the woman using her daughter to translate as other girl and I wait to hear her words.

The other middle-school girl suddenly sees our fireplace. I blink, yet again, as she points to the (left-facing) swastikas, and proudly tells me “Once, my brother came home with an armband like that!” She then says something about not letting Jews into the office in case they got offended. I some how manage to stutter out the standard response about how it was an architectural fad when this building was made. Little girl smiles and nods. They leave shortly after, waving happily.

Apparently, neo-Nazis are slowing reforming. Racists who chill with the handicapped. I guess this is progress?

In other news, I’ve just been asked if I’m high by a ceramics guy. This day is turning out strangely.


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