“Two Worlds as One” by Eriyana Linder
I once knew a man who was deaf; he took the bus. I remember how we met.
When he dropped a quarter, I picked it up and he turned. Thank you, he had signed.
I was so taken aback. It was the first time I’d met a deaf individual in person.
I was studying sign language – it was my first year at VC. I had to know him.
I sat in the back, just so I could sit near him, eager and also nervous.
I signed, Are you deaf? He looked surprised to say the least. Then he broke a smile.
We signed for an hour, for the entirety of the bus trip. I wanted to know him.
He was an old man who visited his friends in Santa Paula, who sported a handlebar mustache.
He was an old man who had lost a finger or two, who occasionally worked odd jobs.
He was so very kind. We rode the bus together many times. He was my new friend.
The first day we met, when it was time to part ways, he stopped me and signed,
You’re a very nice girl. You are not mean like some others. We’re friends. I love you.
We hugged, and I thought If this happened with any other person, I might’ve been put off.
But I remember his smile. Because he had found someone who understood; a person to communicate with.
That is when I decided – I decided why I love to sign. I sign to help people.
Sign language is so beautiful. The Deaf community is so closely knit. We live side-by-side.
It’s important to join worlds. Whether you’re Deaf, Mexican, Asian, or Arabic, we must love one another.
I sign to be kind. I sign to unite our two worlds, so similar yet set apart.
For those of you studying a new language so you may communicate better with those around you,
Thank you for your efforts. May we spread the peace and love. May we unite the world.
I believe that this piece fits with the theme because communication between the Deaf community and the hearing community is very crucial to our society.