Monday, April 10, 2006

Regular or extra-crispy?

The cochbla returns. But where did it go?

Back to the land, obviously. Back to the mountains where the sun shines bright, the water runs clear and cold, and the beer is plentiful and just.

Actually, I haven't gone anywhere and am still living in the same apartment in the same NYC neighborhood with the same taciturn Midwesterner, though I owe him two months rent. The real reason the cochbla disappeared: I've been busy -- Henry Holt publishers has contracted cochbla to publish an as yet untitled memoir in the summer of 2007. The memoir will recount the experience of growing up deaf and the experience of being chased by drunken African mobs. What suburban soft-talkers and machete-wielding villagers have in common may not seem obvious at first glance. But there is a common thread -- the perspective of the outsider; a white man in a black world, a deaf man in a hearing world. The book is about what this perspective reveals. It has been an interesting book to write and I hope you read it someday or at least pretend to have read it when you talk to my folks. They'd be hurt otherwise.

Obviously, the years of deafness the memoir covers took place before I received my implant. Cause I hears good now. I'll let you know how good in a week, after I have my six month evaluation. Hard to believe it's been six months. I hear well enough that I don't even think about it anymore. I no longer have to pick and choose social events and possible careers by whether I'll be able to hear at them. I'm free to worry about the regular American worry stuff as much as I would like -- stuff like war, bills, the chimps in power, and this fragile planet slow roasting like a rotisserie chicken. Which is great, because I love chicken.

"See, I'm just like you now," I said to my friend Mark at brunch yesterday.
"You have a magnet stuck to your head," he pointed out.
"Right," I said. "I forgot about that."

I had just helped Mark move into a new apartment in the East Village. The apartment had been paid for by Mark's side business painting watercolors of Batman and Robin consummating their long simmering homoerotic tension.

"I like this neighborhood," said Mark. "Loud mohawked black sheep no hold back downtown artists."
"I'll do what I can to blend in when I visit."
"Again, you have a magnet on your head."
"Will you get off the magnet already?" I said. "Shouldn't you be drawing Batman and Robin having oral sex or something?"
Mark held up a small painting he had finished the night before. "It's not just Batman and Robin," he said. "Sometimes Batman does The Penguin."

Good point. Sometimes he does. One cannot hold back in this day and age. Thus, the cochbla returns.


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