I can’t watch TV / movies / without subtitles.
It’s just too hard to follow.' writes Raymond.
It's not so difficult to get subtitle files from subtitle-sites.
The only difficulty is getting ones which fit the lips on-screen.
A lot of actors, like a lot of people, mumble.
Lip-reading (especially in French) can fail you.
But people's conversation usually isn't worth hearing
and most films are bad because
most films are made in Hollywood, world capital of
loud Nothing Worth Listening To (or watching).
When you try to put the hearing-aids in the wrong ears
the panic makes you completely deaf.
But I have found that when you tell people you're deaf
they either leave you alone (which is best)
or write the Important Thing down...
though it might be a telephone number.
Phones are the worst – especially
when people mumble or speak too fast.
There are no facial expressions,
no lips to interpret, and panic can rise.
If you miss a word (such as not or don't' )
I have a sticker on my car which says
"I lip-read" (Je lis sur les lèvres)
though this doesn't stop the po-facedly gleeful
traffic-police from doing their fine job
of making you feel like a worm.
On the whole, though,
it's not so bad to be 'hard of hearing'.
The high notes are absent or faint
when I listen to music, but that's OK.
It's just my way of hearing now.
It's no worse than having poor sight
and losing your glasses.
I don't get Too Much Information.
Raymond (a poet as safe for a syllabus
as Safe Séamus) might remind me that
I could hear the Archduke Trio quite well, once...
yes, but only (as Malcolm will tell you)
by getting or grabbing a seat at the front.
I had been going deaf for a long time,
What might be worse is the shyness
that comes with even slight autism,
the stammering, an inability
to stand up and speak, to perform,
to introduce or promote myself to strangers,
to small-talk. Then there's
Saying The Wrong Thing,
and judging people by their misleading faces.
I have always skulked on the fringes of any group
more than four. Skulking is safe, as safe as shoplifting.
I should add the good news
that there is aidar, rather like gaydar,
which enables people with hearing-aids
to find each other and talk
about their hearing-aids...and maybe more.