I have interpreted in many high risk settings where potential danger constantly lurks. All-male inpatient treatment facilities with on-edge guys in varying stages of detox, the downtown jail, correctional facilities where officers tell you from the get-go that you are on your own if an emergency takes all manpower, and the emergency psych ward at two in the morning. But recently, I sat in the back of a navy blue PT Cruiser whose deaf 85-year-old driver (with cataracts, mind you) tried to pass the driving test. Easily distracted, he squinted and marveled at the huge berms of snow, optimistically backed up and made turns without looking around (arthritic neck, he informed us), never driving above 15 miles per hour. “Straight ahead! Straight ahead!” I futilely signed to him as per the examiner’s instruction via the rearview mirror (which he never looked at). After 20 minutes of my own life passing before my eyes, I breathed a huge sigh of relief as he pulled into the final parking spot safely.
He simply wanted the license so he could drive himself to his favorite fishing holes.
Limitations. Literally and figuratively bumping up against our weaknesses.
Facing our frailties. Difficult no matter one’s age and experience, sighted or cataracted, hearing or deaf.
(By the way, he was not issued the license. Whew.)
LL, 3/10/2009. Prevail.