The T-Shirt Rule / Collection of Works


at a fancy dinner

an older woman

noticed that I was using sign language

and had an interpreter 


she did not notice how happy I was to be there

talking and sharing stories with others

listening too


she came up to me

eyes squinted for some reason

squint squint

and spoke in such hushed tones


the interpreter could barely hear her

I couldn’t even read her lips


she asked if I use my voice

and if I “knew” how to talk


I lied 

when I told her I could speak

but I prefer to use sign language

as it’s my natural language




and scoffed too


she said her husband had throat cancer

and lost the ability to speak

so she had to gesture by waving hands around


and that it was too much work for her

it was too much work? 

yes, too much work


I told her I was sorry to hear that

she simply shrugged, scoffed again and walked away