EBU (Senior Group) Fine Work
The number of things that fit in six dots is amazing!
Francisco Javier GARCÍA PAJARES Spain, 26, Male
Two hands moving fast, two forefingers sliding softly, six dots that tell a story…
6th August 2005
I’m feeling bad. Fuck, I’m feeling awful. For a year I’ve wanted to believe people, I’ve wanted to think that the only problem was that I didn’t pay any attention to what they were saying, but I can’t go on turning a deaf ear to the clear message life is giving me. No, wait a minute, it’s the other way around; I need to admit I can’t help turning a deaf ear to life because I’m going deaf.
24th January 2006
I don’t know what to do. My family doesn’t understand me and I don’t dare tell them about the hell I’m going through. Why does everything have to be so tough? Today was another shitty day and they’re getting more and more frequent. One arsehole from my class passed around a note saying, “Stand up, throw something in the waste-paper basket and hit the deaf guy when you sit down”. Everybody hit me, and even the teacher made fun of me when I complained. Every time they hit me I wanted to cry, but I stayed strong. But now I feel defeated. I can’t cope any more. I’m sorry.
Two hands that shake now, two forefingers that dither, a choice that wins out and a story that goes on…
7th February 2007
I can’t believe it! I’m feeling fucking awful - worse than ever. Why does everything have to happen to me? Now that I had found a way to pass my exams without learning anything in class, now that I had met David again and I was trying, hard as it was, to join his group…were things not difficult enough? In addition to being deaf, did I need to go blind too? Why was it needed? I may not have been able to read the words on the philosophy exam because I couldn’t see the letters, but I’m back home now with a few new existential doubts.
25th April 2007
I dropped out of my courses. Yeah, I know I’m not legally old enough but if I was going to class and not understanding a word and I couldn’t even read a book, just to be a figure of fun….what other choice did I have? At least this way nobody bothers me.
8th July 2007
It’s almost midnight. I’ve just got home after being with David and the group. I’m a bit down because I don’t know how to communicate, I don’t have a clue what’s going on and, even though David gives me a potted version of what everybody said at the end of the day, I know something’s wrong.
15th July 2008
I was looking forward to getting home to read. I took the decision a couple of months ago now, the day I said to my mum: “OK, I’m going to give it a go”. I did it for her and for my father, but for José Antonio, my psychologist at ONCE, too. So, I learnt braille and since then I haven’t stopped reading every day. Now the characters in every book are my best friends, and I don’t have any problems communicating with them or any secrets; they give me all the time I need and their stories bring paint and colour to the grey life I’m slowly leaving behind.
13th October 2008
I got a 9.5 in the test! Mamma mia! Happy days. I’m delighted and everything is going well: my interpreter came to class with me, my classmates learnt about the new communication system I use, AND I got a great mark in the first exam I did in braille using my Perkins brailler. My teachers are saying I’m going to be an academic, but for the time being I’ll settle for going to university.
26th April 2013
The face of the guy on the bus was a poem when I told him I was deafblind and he could talk to me by drawing capital letters on the palm of my right hand with his index finger. It was even funnier when I told him ‘that thing’ was a braille display connected to my mobile. And his face was hilarious when I told him that I had just used ‘that thing’ to send some messages, and now I was reading the newspaper. Brilliant!
4th March 2014
Well, yes, dear administrative law lecturer, when you say swear words Lorena writes them in her computer and I read them using my display. I notice them just as if I had heard them. And, yes, Isa, Patri and me killed ourselves laughing in class when you were halfway through explaining something and realised what you had said, so you stopped and added, “Don’t write ‘bitch’ for Javi to read.”
25th November 2015
Dear diary, I hope you can forgive me if I’ve ever used the word ‘impossible’. I may be deafblind or whatever you want, but that doesn’t stop me learning English. I’ve learnt an awful lot since Alex started to write how to pronounce every word in the computer; I read them out and repeat them with the help of my braille display. People say where there’s a will there’s a way…Alex provides the way and I provide the willingness.
3rd March 2017
Yesterday I spent some time with the girl of a thousand beautiful faces. I was reading on my braille display when she put her hand on mine and smiled at me. Then I had an idea: I took my braille keyring out of my pocket and, before she could say anything, started to teach her braille. She was a quick learner…too quick. I would have liked braille to be a lot tougher, if that would have given me one more minute to guide her hand across those six dots, one more minute contemplating her like that, the way she was; focused, calm, with her eyes closed and a smile on her lips.
Two hands that wrote this story, two hands that read it now, and two hands that have found what they were looking for…
“Friendship, education, communication, inclusion, humour, love…it’s amazing how many things fit in six dots!”