La Voz de Galicia – July 13, 2018, 2018 →

Cristina PatoThe bus was uncomfortable, the journey was long, and I was somewhat dizzy. On top of that, the driver had screamed loudly for the third time that, to be respectful of other passengers, the person who was listening to music without headphones had to lower its volume or they would be asked to leave the bus in the next stop. But the music continued, and no one did anything about it.

The two of them were seated on the second row. The little one could not be older than three years old, and the older one seemed to be around my age. Perhaps they were mother and daughter, I don’t know. But when I realized that “the music” came from the phone the girl held in her hand, a hundred ways of telling the woman that either she had to lower the volume on the device or put headphones on the little girl ran through my head. In the end, I didn’t do anything either, and the driver gave up and stopped screaming. Basically, all of us on the bus had a way of isolating ourselves from the world with our own headsets so, I suppose that, consciously or unconsciously, we chose to avoid an argument on the bus.

When we arrived at our destination, we had to wait a little while for the driver to open the hatch so we could get our belongings. In that space of time, the two of them were at my side, quiet. Suddenly, the little one signaled with a great deal of energy that she had seen her stroller, and the older one went to get it. When doing so, the bag the woman was holding fell, and the little one, again, gestured what was happening until she was understood. And there I stood, astounded, stunned by the child’s grace and audacity: so quick, so incredibly keen, so sensible. There was such magic between both of them, and their communication was so beautiful, that I had to turn off my own music to listen to them and realize that they were speaking in a music all their own: sign language.

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