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My sister has a friend named Chris who is quite brilliant at composing and playing the piano. There is only one strange thing about him: he’s deaf. Yes, I know that even Beethoven was deaf, but I don’t even believe that Chris is that brilliant. Besides, he’s only deaf without his hearing aids in.

I first meet Chris when I came to visit my sister. We were sitting around with a bunch of her friends, playing games, just generally joking around. I had noticed that Chris had a pretty good since of humor, so when I said something and he looked at me and said "what?" I yelled at him "What are you!? Deaf!?" Of course everyone stopped instantly where they were and turned to look at me. How could I be so oblivious as not to notice this poor boy’s handicap!? How could I be so insensitive!? Truth is, I was perfectly aware that Chris was deaf, I was also perfectly aware that he could handle any taunting towards his infirmity that I could throw at him. I even knew that perhaps he had never had anyone taunt him for being deaf. The moment was too great to let me pass by. As everyone was suspended in shock, Chris turns to me, trying now to laugh, but unable to hold it back.

Now, I really wish I had some great moral to this story, some lesson to be had, but there is none. But even today, we are still great friends and I continue to taunt him for his deafness. My personal favorite taunt is that whenever he doesn’t hear me, just b/c I’m speaking too softly, or mumbling, I stomp on the floor several times and yell "check your battery!" So I guess there is a moral to this story: Make fun of hearing impaired people, they’ll love you for it!

Make fun of disabled people in general. I am in a wheelchair and the best jokes my friends and I make are usually at my expense. People should accept themselves for who they are and shouldn't take everything so serious.

Don't just make fun of the handicapped, ridicule anyone. It will make them a better person and be damn funny at the same time. Some groups to exclude: The retarded kids that don't know you are making fun of them, Fat people who don't accept that they are fat. While I'm on the subject, fuck political correctness. I don't care what you want to be called if your black, I'll call you black, handicapped or crippled are perfectly acceptable (I hate terms like orthopedically impaired, mainly because I can't spell them much less take the time to use them), etc. Next time someone says they are African-American ask them what part of Africa they are from. You'll be surprised the responses you get. This works with any (fill in the blank)-American.
Did it happen? Did I really live through all my memories? They passed me through for sure; and I do have a mental snapshot of a lot of moments. I live a bursty life perhaps ... I run through life with a very high speed but every couple of moments I tire and stop to take breath, and like a wind gust, they all catch up with me - the moments I had left behind. They sync in.

Jasma, in skyblue shirt and dark gray shorts running after the Jeep waving me farewell. I was leaving after a month long vacation in her city; I didn't even know her a month ago and this day she was the first girl I ever really kissed. How old was I? 14 probably ... 15? I was sitting on the back seat and was looking back at her getting hid in the dust cloud, She stopped running after a while and her figure kept getting smaller and smaller till the Jeep took a turn. I was sadly smiling at her all this time but I'm sure she didn't see my smile, like I couldn't see her expressions. Did it really happen? Did I really live it? Is that all one remembers of the first girl one ever kissed? What day was it? What time of day?

There were happy faces, my granny sang folk songs, there were dances, flash lights, music, colors, sweets, shiny happy people - all the images flash before my eyes like a music video. Manu got married in Jan. We'll never be same again. Brothers, close by chance, not choice. We grew up together, shared the same parents, clothes, and the same room for over 20 years of our life; the most valuable years. We've shared so much in life it's impossible not to miss it all ... but I don't. I don't really miss it all that much.

Its this insensitivity seeping into me.

I had left most of my living moments far behind in my race towards the future, but I get tired every so often and stop for a breath, and they catch up with me, equally tired, broken, bruised, the sepia toned brown cornered images from my past. And they enter me with a push. I felt a few of them enter me like a whiff of air through my hair cruising down alone on 237 last Saturday-afternoon with the top down. I wanted to take a nap right then and there, in the running car on the highway. Sunlight on my face, wind in my hair - and a tear blurred my view for a second. It is something from the past ... but I can't exactly say what ... I don't even care enough to find it out ...

What all did I live through to end up here in my bed this morning? Did it all happen? Did I live it at all?

I open my eyes to the polarized blue sky. I'm lying on the grass. I've not done this in years - lie down lazily on grass and watch the clouds pass by. An occasional plane, a fleet of birds. Last time I did this was back in time ... in college. I was lying down with Vishakha looking at sky and discussing multiple inheritance in C++. Where is Vishakha right now? Does she ever think about me? When she kisses her man now? When she makes love to him?

Every couple of minutes while we made love, she had to adjust herself under me. Like something is poking her from under the bed. The rhythm used to break and my movements paused for a moment, and I looked at her face every time. Her half-closed eyes. Her half parted lips. Some fractions of my memories are so fresh ... I can almost taste her right now. Is it possible not to miss the first person you ever made love to? ... I need to know because *I* sure don't miss her all that much. I am not even sure if it really happened. If I really lived it ...

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