So I've decided to write a book. This soon-to-be-dearly-missed fellow suggested it first. The credit is rightfully his. In the past couple of weeks a couple of other folks have also decided that I possess the requisite wit and insomnia to research and write a book while researching and writing a dissertation. Since they know people who know people—and since with each passing day my dreams are shoved, stopped, started, carried, routed, rerouted, diverted, guided, and conducted to avenues that lead to avenues that lead to cul-de-sacs—I think I'll take them up on their advice and spend time otherwise "invested" in re-re-re-watching some familiar film in a desperate attempt to stuff a stopper in the day's thought doing something productive instead.
Like writing a book.
What will this book be about? Why me of course! What else would a solipsistic fraud like me write about? I've lived a quaint life, yes, but I've lived the whole damn thing deaf. When you talk to me about your work, do you know what I hear? This:
ə wə hə əw də ən m əlmo fənəsh wə də gəchə. ə thəm you wəl ləg ət.
That's not accurate at all. I've basically clipped all the hard consonant sounds and schwa'd all the vowels, but since I ain't written the book yet, I haven't thought too deeply about what exactly it is I hear. I'm so accustomed to seeing the words I hear that I'm not actually sure what it is I actually here. I'm going to have spend some time transcribing with my eyes squeezed shut and my headphones nestled before I can transcribe what auditory cues I actually hear. I'll also be experimenting with ear plugs in order to figure out the exact extent to which I lip-read. In short, much like Joan Didion in her deservedly acclaimed Year of Magical Thinking, I'll be spending some time researching my own life.
I'm looking forward to interviewing my parents. My wife. My friends. My doctors. The people I work with and the ones I work for. In my spare time, I will rewrite proverbial history:
"Those who can, do. Those who can't, do anyway."
I'll write in the genre I've taught to so many students whose prose talents, frankly, far outstrip my own. I'll increase the value of my name in this reputation economy by becoming more than "Professor Office Sex." (Which is still better than some people I'd rather not know. Better to be "Professor Office Sex" than "Adjunct Attacked a Group of Women of Color in a Parking Lot for No Reason.")
What does this mean for you? Probably more self-involved posts about what it's like being deaf. I envision the finished product to be a John McPhee-esque memoir in which the personal collides with the researchical in ways which entertain and inform all. Something along these lines. If my best and brightest can appreciate the form, I have no doubt others can as well. (Those who can't do but teach still change minds and lives. Whatever I did this quarter vis-a-vis teaching McPhee certainly worked. If only I could pinpoint exactly what it is I did differently.)