My phone chimed. I read the text message.
Michelle: I want to see the open captioning of A Quiet Place at The Summit. Wanna go?
Me: Let’s do it
Michelle: I know a lot of people going!
I had been seeing Michelle about 2 months. Michelle is deaf. Any notions that deaf people are disabled in any way… is totally wrong. I’ve met many of her friends who are deaf and they are extraordinary. It’s almost a non-issue. I’ve watched Michelle communicate from across the room without making a sound and she’s better than the average person at reading people’s personalities and emotions. It’s really amazing. I’m trying really hard to learn sign language… but so far I have just the basics and a whole lot of dirty words. She’s quick to call me out on stuff too.
“Don’t say hearing impaired. Deaf people don’t like it”, she’s told me.
It’s a process… and I’m learning. She has a Cochlear implant, which helps a lot. Texting is a must since phone conversation is challenging to say the very least. Other than a few bumps in communicating… everything else is perfectly fine. So those of you reading this who may take it the wrong way… just don’t.
So I watched the trailer to A Quiet Place. It turns out this is a movie about aliens who have invaded Earth. The aliens are blind, but have extremely sensitive hearing. This basically means that anyone left surviving on Earth has had to learn to shut up and never talk. There is a lot of sign language in the film and almost no talking. I quickly understood why this new thriller was popular within the deaf community. There is even a deaf actress (Millicent Simmonds) in the movie.
As we walk into the theater, it’s almost like a reunion for Michelle. She immediately starts hugging people and waving to others. She had to have known at least 20 people or more. Literally everyone is signing to each other and I get a taste of what it might be like to be deaf. What I mean by this is… some deaf people might feel uncomfortable in a room full of hearing folks. Well, now I was on the receiving end of that… in reverse. I wasn’t sure if there was anyone seated in the theater who wasn’t deaf. I held Michelle’s hand. She smiled at me and I smiled back. I leaned over and gave her a quick kiss. It was awesome to do this with her.
So the lights dim and the trailers start. I start to wonder why they’re called trailers when they’re played before the movie and not after? Watching the previews… it dawns on me that this movie experience is going to be a little different than any other. Buckle up.
Deaf people are noisy. It’s not their fault… trust me I know this. I can’t imagine how noisy I’d be if I couldn’t hear a damn thing I was doing. I’m practically a bull in a china closet now. The previews end and the movie starts.
The older man sitting behind me, well he liked to breathe through his nose. It was super loud! In and out over and over. I imagined his nose hairs swaying like fields of hay in a steady breeze… back and forth… to and fro. I never turned around. Oh I surely would have turned around if I’d heard him stop. I would have sprung into action and started CPR.
The plot was good… very suspenseful. I was definitely enjoying the flick… even with the audible distractions. I ate my Goobers and popcorn… with extra butter. The best thing to ever happen to movie theaters? That’s easy… you now can control your own butter destiny!
Some deaf people make verbal sounds when they sign. I could hear this happening at random times throughout the opening scenes of the movie. I watched the screen, I listened to the digital sound blasting from the speakers, I read the captions on the screen because they were there… and I absorbed all the other noise coming from the theater seats.
Bags of popcorn were rustling in rhythm. One bag would crackle from the back of the theater, followed by responses from the front and middle sections. It was like Morse Code… only no one could hear it except for me apparently. It was an orchestra of bags, and each rustling was always followed by the crunches. And let’s not forget the slurps of the drinks on every aisle. There were some scenes that the noise subsided somewhat, but not often.
At some point… probably an hour into the movie, I think the gallon sized drink and butter drenched popcorn started to get the best of me. I didn’t have to pee yet… but damn I was pretty gassy. In fiction, you rarely hear about characters having to crap, pee or fart. In the real world however, it’s just a fact of life. And so I started thinking. I think I even had a conversation with myself.
Me: So who’s gonna hear it if you just cut loose on one?
My Response to Me: No one I guess, but they will definitely smell it!
Me: Sure they’ll smell it. But they’ll wonder who it was. Just look confused and play innocent!
My Response to Me: You are such an ass! Why would you even be contemplating this?
Me: But come on… you may never get this chance again. How many times have you held in a fart while at the movies? Come on… go for it!
My Response to Me: Okay… okay.
It was a loud one. It was a vibrating one too. That was something I hadn’t anticipated. But I was given a break on one thing… there was no odor. I felt relieved and cut loose on a second one for good measure!
That’s when the millennial girl sitting in front of me turned around and gave me the look! Holy shit! Could she hear? Immediately I started to look behind me. Maybe I could blame this on the loud nose breather to my rear? Nope… Millennial Girl wasn’t buying it. That piercing stare lasted only 2 seconds at the most… but I’m still feeling those eyes burning through me.
Me: Dude that was awesome!
My Response to Me: You’re such an ass!
Anyhow, they released A Quiet Place on DVD this month. I’m thinking about renting it.