As I have already told you, I’m a blind and deaf person, I live in Madrid, I work for ILUNION and I dream of building a world that makes sense. Besides this, I have also told you that I gave it a try, that I tried to turn adversity into opportunity, and that I accepted my fears in order to pursue my dreams. For all this I think it is the time to share with you a little story, one that fills me with hope.
People come and go. Some of them look at their watches, others talk between them in a lively way. I am standing facing the door of the cafe, I get my cellphone out from the pocket of my trousers and I take a picture of the menu. Right after I zoom it in on the screen, so that I can get to read the starters, the main courses, the desserts. I take a few minutes to make up my mind and I enter the establishment, holding my red and white cane in one hand and a suitcase in the other one. I go to the counter and, as soon as I recognize a shape approaching me, I say:
‘Hi! I’m a blind and deaf person, that is, I do not hear nor see very well. You can communicate with me by writing capital letters with your index finger on my right-hand palm, like this,’ and I write a letter ‘J’ with the right-hand index finger on my left-hand palm. ‘Could you please take me to a table?’
The waiter slowly nods, maybe still processing the information. After that he gets out from behind the counter, grabs me by my arm and takes me to a free table. I make it easy for him:
‘I already know what’s on the menu,’ and so I ordered what I wanted.
He stood up right there, on his feet, staring at me. I can tell that his surprise is growing by the minute until the moment in which, little by little, he makes up his mind, holds my hand and, letter by letter, breaks that barrier that makes our communication difficult.
‘Excuse me, are you traveling on your own? I’ve never seen anyone like you…’
‘Of course I am, why wouldn’t I?’
So I start telling him a little bit about me. What I’ve done, what I do and what I dream of doing. I can feel how he revolves between a combination of emotions, ranging from shock to admiration. A bit after, without expecting it, he gets close to me and hugs me, his eyes covered in tears. It’s the hug of a man who has been inspired by hope.
Not long after that arrived Jose Antonio, my psychologist and mountain guide. I remember telling him about this story. And I also remember that a spark finally ignited between us, maybe the spark of hope, as we silently confided to each other: building a world that makes sense is at the palm of our hands.
The drawing depicts Javi communicating with the waiter by writing capital letters on his right-hand palm.