She was about to close the drawer when she saw it. A simple long-sleeved shirt that she had bought at one of those Big Box stores. It was made of thick cotton and was one of her favorite shirts to wear when the air turned cool and nippy. She remembered the day she had bought it. She had traveled up to Sam's Club with her family. The day had been warm and mild when she left her house and she had dressed for the weather, wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Although the store was only an hour away, the weather was completely different. It was at least ten degrees colder, cloudy and blustery. She had been freezing and had bought the shirt in order to stay warm.
I sat on the floor, looking at my beautiful newborn who was sleeping contentedly under the mosquito netting in her bassinet. My head was spinning from exhaustion. I felt myself sliding into a black hole it would take months to get out of it.
I live my life suspended between two worlds, not quite fitting into either. There is the hearing world: a world of noise, of happy conversations and quiet whispers, of blaring horns and twittering bird songs, noises loud and soft, high pitched or deep. Then there is the deaf world: a visual world of images, where communication occurs through your fingers and meaning comes through facial expressions, a quiet world in some ways but vibrantly alive in others. It is a world I have never been truly part of but have sometimes longed to, knowing that the miscommunication and misunderstandings I often experience in my life in the hearing world would vanish in the deaf world.
"Blofonyo!" My mother-in-law's greeting to me is full of affection and warmth. Her term of endearment literally means 'white person,' but has a whole other meaning when she speaks it. When she says it, I embrace the term, though it has a different connotation when I hear it on the street. People here are friendly, sometimes overly friendly, and I am used to attracting attention in Ghana. I hear the call 'Blofonyo' a dozen times, as I go shopping at the local market, or explore the restaurants and local shops. Among friends and family, the term becomes an inside joke. A close friend, and I jokingly refer to each other as 'Mordin,' and 'Blofonyo'–black and white respectively.
Steam rises from a dusty street