Sunday, January 01, 2006

Good Night Good Looking

Happy New Year!

Last week, I had lunch with the brave and generous pioneer of Implantania, Michael Chorost. Mr. Chorost, as I have mentioned before, wrote the book Rebuilt, about his experiences growing up hard-of-hearing, becoming completely deaf, getting implanted and discovering the cyborg world of the implantee. His book was a great resource for Sam and me as we wrestled with the decision to get implanted and then acclimated to a new way of hearing.

Mike and I met for lunch at a midtown restaurant. He was in town from San Francisco for a radio interview.

“Thank you for your work,” I said, after sitting down. Huffing about on crutches, I was fifteen minutes late – not bad, for me.
“You’re welcome,” said Mike
“It’s loud in here. Who picked this restaurant?”
“You did.”

Twenty minutes later across the street at a Starbucks, with I Shot the Sheriff playing in the background, Mike and I talked of the vast new horizons implants open up. For Mike: he has written a book, traveled across the country (and will soon be going to London and Vienna) to promote it, quit his day job to freelance write fulltime, worked with fascinating people at the cutting edge of technology, taught a creative writing class, and romanced a bevy of west coast beauties.

For me: I have a blog. Also, crutches -- steel crutches, brothah!

We talked some more, each of us hearing the other quite well, despite the Starbucks Reggae mix blasting overhead. A nice easy conversation between two men over tea, no problem at all; I realized a chapter had come to an end. This chapter. The one about implant stuff. Mike could hear and I could hear, more or less; new challenges awaited us.

“I like your blog,” Mike said.
“Thanks,” I said. “Your opinion means a lot.”
“What you should write is a summary of how the world is now, three months post. A philosophical look back.”
“I don't know if I can do that.”
“Why not?”
“I'll try.”

But…I have no grand summary, friends. Except this: turn off the TV and take a walk once in a while. The implant works, God yes, but silence or noise, it’s all the same story; and it begins and ends every moment, on the breath of grace. Every sound has been waiting for you, and every sound sings ‘my love! my love!’ -- but so does the ground beneath your bootsoles, and the visions that greet your eyes. It couldn’t be more perfect, regardless the volume. And it couldn't be harder to sum up. Maybe this picture says it best:


The Jets and Knicks, of course, are in last.

Now we’re in 2006. Cochbla will be suspending publication for a few weeks as the well, the borderline-amusing-ancedotes-about-learning-to-hear-with-an-implant-and-having-a-brother-with-an-implant-and-a-roommate-from-Minnesota well doth run dry. The blog will reappear at some point, based on a different topics, I’ll let you know. Until then, gracias Mike, Sam, Zev, Ari, Carl, Elvis, Cleopatra, Bankable Poet Stud, Parental Units and loyal and un-loyal readers. Thank you for your support through this exciting time.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mike Chorost said...

Maybe the blog well's run dry for the time being...but I am 100% certain that we'll be hearing from Mr. Swiller in bigger formats soon enough.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Bankable Poetry said...

No well run dryeth when you're swillin'
Josh man don't leave his devotees illin'
Bankable Poet blog stud cut and run out
Childcare duties have him strung out

Breath free and easy, young man, go East!

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm hearin ya, sweet sounds in my head -
each word is you/ you/ you/... swills... (i can't imagine your world now, beloved)
blessings
ellie8bol (or truehart)

6:55 PM  

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