Thursday, October 08, 2009

Supper's Ready!!

During some down time at work yesterday evening, I stepped outside, fired up a cigarette, thought about what I should write for today, and peering through my thoughts and a smoke-filled exhale, I looked upon an incredibly beautiful sunset…

A perfectly layered blend of orange, pink, and purple splashed across a cloudless, deep blue October sky.

For a moment, the noise from the well-traveled street that I stood before, went silent. The disquietude of my thoughts were muted.

I was alone in perfect silence with a clear and chromatic portrait of nature’s subtle grace.

And then…

As I took another deep drag on my cigarette, the lack of earthly sound was etched and scribed upon by the sound of heavy breathing. But, it wasn’t mine.

I turned around to see a young woman who lives in the neighborhood, running through the back entrance of the Drive-Thru.

I smiled and asked her if I could help her. She said that she needed a 2 Liter of Diet Pepsi. And then I asked her…

“You ran down here for that?” She responded…

“I had to. Supper’s ready.” I handed her the Diet Pepsi, she flashed a never before seen smile and then softly repeated, “Supper’s ready.”

I smiled back, handed her the change, and then as she walked away, I became oddly emotional. Not quite sad, not quite joyful, but the result left me with tears beginning to well up.

You see, when this young woman said to me in a clear, yet winded voice, “Supper’s ready.”, I didn’t hear her voice, I heard my mom’s voice.

I was instantaneously transported to the semi-finished basement in my mom and dad’s house some 30 or more years ago.

I was reminded of the times of when I was a kid and sitting in the basement watching TV after school.

Typically, about two hours into watching reruns of 60’s and early 70’s sitcoms, my mom’s voice would ring down the steps saying, “Matthew, supper’s ready.”

If brothers or sisters were with me, mom would say, “C’mon on guys, supper’s ready.”

It was never, “Dinner’s ready.” It was always, “Supper’s ready.”

Typically, when I think of my mom or dad, who are both gone, I smile and chuckle.

This time, the context of the situation and the interaction with this particular woman forged a different reaction. And, for good reason…

The woman who ran down to get the 2 Liter of Diet Pepsi, is profoundly deaf. For a year and a half, whenever she came in to buy something it was always a struggle.

She couldn’t hear and as a result could not talk very well, and I not knowing sign language was unable to communicate well with her.

She recently had a cochlear implant operation. This was the first time I had seen her since the procedure. It was the first time I had seen her acknowledge my voice and respond to me in somewhat broken, but clear speech.

I am not certain as to why I cried. Maybe they were tears of sorrow because I miss Mom.

Maybe they were tears of joy because this woman smiled knowing that she could communicate clearly in the hearing world.

Maybe, my tears of were that of gratitude because the first words spoken to me by her elicited a comforting albeit bittersweet memory of my mom.

I guess it really doesn’t matter what the reason is. After all was done, we were both happy…we both smiled.

She smiled because of her future, and I, after the tears had dried, smiled because of my past.

Shortly after our meeting and my thoughts about it, I went back outside, re-lit my cigarette, and looked at the faltering yet still colorful sky.

This time, the beauty of the sky was not nearly as quiet. This time, it spoke volumes.

Cheers!!

37 comments:

Michele said...

Funny how certain words, smells and sights can bring back memories.

Mrs. D said...

That was so sweet.

Matt-Man said...

Michele: The human senses are not only functional they are a collection of uber powerful memory recptacles. Cheers Michele. Enjoy your room!!

Mrs.D: Why thank ya. Don't expect too often. ; ) Cheers Mrs. D!!

Starrlight said...

Isn't it odd how off hand things can just come at you out of no where and, bam - you are back in the past?

Nice post =)

Scott Oglesby said...

That was beautiful Matt-Man. I read shades of Henry David Thorough, and shades of Emerson. You really are a talented writer. Maybe it touched me more deeply as well because both of my parents have also passed away, as well as the rest of my family. Being an only child, the loneliness sometimes hits me in the gut. But what a beautiful gift for the girl to now be able to communicate. Imagine how grateful she must feel! It makes you think of all we take for granted.

I thought we only said ‘supper’ in Pittsburgh? I’m starting to think that maybe you live near Youngstown now. Hmmmm.

Matt-Man said...

Starr: Thanks Starr, and because this incident caught me completely off guard is why it smacked me in the face evidently. Cheers!!

Scott: That's rough Scott and I am sorry to hear that. I am fortunate enough to still have 7 of 8 my brothers and sisters around.

I think it was her smile that I had never seen before was the beuty of it all.

And bite your tongue...I DO NOT live in or near Youngstown!! Supper is widely used in parts of Ohio. I live in between Columbus and Dayton. Thanks for remarks. Cheers Scott!!

Lu' said...

Thank you :)

Matt-Man said...

Lu: That was sweet, and you're very welcome, Lu. Cheers Pal!!

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...well I hope you're happy, ya bastard, you made ME cry...

Dianne said...

that was lovely Matty
full of grace and wonder and heart and soul

Matt-Man said...

Phfrankie: Ha. That does make me happy. I hate to waste tears on a solo cry. Cheers P-Man!!

Matt-Man said...

Dianne: Thanks Gorgeous. It was all of those things. I was just transcribing it. Cheers Di!!

David said...

Matt-Man you can certainly spin words into a touching tale - an incredible skill well used my good man. It takes a soulful guy to speak in tears at times.

In my family, we always had supper except on Sunday after church when we had dinner. I can hear my mother saying to my brother and me "come on boys, suppers ready".

But I must ask - is that sunset picture from the Thomas Kinkade collection? I wouldn't take you for a Kinkade fan. :-)

Cheers.

Matt-Man said...

David: Why thanks David. I get my use of words and sense of humor from my dad. I am sure he'd like to hear that.

Your decsription of the use of supper vs. dinner applies often around here as well.

I don't know who painted it. It could be a Kinkade. As my posts are written quickly after work (between 9:30-11:30), I sometimes get sloppy and miss details.

If I didn't write on the fly so often, I wouldn't miss these things. Thanks alot David.

Cheers!!

Micky-T said...

Pretty touching stuff you big softy!

Matt-Man said...

Micky: Thanks Mick, but shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone that I'm a softy. Cheers!!

Jay said...

Oh I guess we're all supposed to say nice things today? ;-)

It's funny how different situations, or things people say or whatever set off memories of my dad, or other people who have either passed away or are no longer part of my life anymore for other reasons. In fact, sometimes I hate how often it happens.

Matt-Man said...

Jay: You know damn well you don't have to say something nice you Cynical Bastard, you. But, I understand what you went on to say, and I understand what you meant by sometimes you hate it. Cheers Jay!!

Bond said...

Having gone to school with many deaf students, and now hearing (no pun) about these new implants, it touches me to know that those who have never heard sounds can enjoy this incredible new world. Those who have never heard music can have their hearts filled with wonderful sounds.

Nice post Matt...who wrote it for you? =]

Schmoop said...

Matt: I think it's wonderful that you could experience this, and that she can now hear the things in this world that she could not before. As I read your post, I too thought of my childhood when we would run free thru the neighborhood, only coming in when Mom yelled "Suppertime". Vinny, Matthew is a very talented writer,and whether it be bold and political, or touching and heartfelt, believe me his writing is all his own, and comes from his heart.

Matt-Man said...

Vin: It is nice, isn't it? I dug it alot. It was a magical experience. Cheers!!

Schmoop: How can I top that comment? Here's to your mom, and to you my best friend. Zoves and Cheers Schmoop!!

Micky-T said...

Whew....this is so heart felt and touching.
WTF happened?

Do I dare say.....MORE! MORE!

Matt-Man said...

Micky: Really? Or are you being sarcastic? I have plenty where that came from, I just rarely show it on here, Mick. Cheers!!

Micky-T said...

I know, I've been here almost 2 years and never has a whole post been that warming. Yea, I liked it, a lot. I'm sure a few others agree. I don't know if that's what I want to come here for ALL the time but hell yea maybe you can throw us some mush once a week, I'd dig it!

Matt-Man said...

Mick: Ha. Well because YOU asked for it..I'll do it dammit. Cheers my friend!!

Clay Perry said...

excellent.

that happens to me too.. great post!

http://clayperry.blogspot.com/2009/05/nightfall-in-georgia.html

Bond said...

Wow...I am so glad Schmoop cleared that up for me...I really thought you had a ghost writer...

NOT!

=]

Matt-Man said...

Clay: Thanks Clay. I'll make sure to check out your offering. Cheers!!

Bond: I'm sure Schmoop didn't think that, but it is damn adorable how she in all her sexiness, defends her man. Everyone should have such a friend and compatriot. Cheers Vin!!

RobinF. said...

Matt...Thank you for something utterly simple, yet beautiful.I am fortunate to still have both my parents yet I often think about what it will be like when they aren't here. The waterworks are starting as I write this. I am often transported by sound, smell, sight. Taken back to a time or a memory that touched me in some way. I think memory is both a blessing and a curse in that respect. What a wonderful gift that woman has been given... to join the hearing world. She must be overwhelmed with the simple joy of it. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with me.

Knight said...

Interesting how you can talk about supper being ready and it will invoke all sorts of emotion in me that comes from I'm not sure where but now I miss my family. Well written you wonderful bastard. Well told.

Dana said...

Damn you! These posts of yours always make me think ... and realize that many days I give you far too little credit.

Thank you for the reminder!

Matt-Man said...

Robin: Well you're welcome. I would like to take credit for everything that yu said, but like I said in an earlier comment, I was just relating things over which just kinda happened. Cheers!!

Knight: Hee Hee. Ichuckle often whe soeone calls me a bastard; when you do it...I get moist. Cheers Knight I shall be over in hopes that you have returned.

Dana: Ha. The way you put it like that, that may be the nicest thing I have heard today. Thanks. Cheers Dana!!

katherine. said...

I could go for mush once a week....for either supper or dinner.

Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois...they all call it supper.

I cannot even imagine what it must be to have been deaf and then to hear sounds... even the voice of someone you come into contact with in your everyday life.

You had us all right there with you...every word of the way.

She smiled because of her future, and I, after the tears had dried, smiled because of my past.

This post is authentic Mateo.

Matt-Man said...

Kat: Thanks Kat. I appreciate that. Cheers to ya!!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Good Lord, Matt-Man! Looking ath that photo and thinking about your writing style I suddenly realized how much you remind me of Hunter Thompson!

Matt-Man said...

Nick: Well Good Lord right back at ya Nick. I'll take that as HUGE compliment. Thanks Nick. cheers!!

Tug said...

Beautiful post Matt...I don't really have words (I'm *so* not a writer) to say how much I like this.

It's always supper when you're home. Dinner is dress-up, go out...supper is home. family. comfort...love.