I just got back from spending 9 days in NYC and DC (more on that later).
After walking miles and miles and miles a few of us decided to check out some art at one of the Smithsonian museums. In this museum they had an exhibit where you had to follow verbal instructions and what seemed like a maze of rails to see a big red screen in a pitch-black room (don’t ask, I still haven’t figured this art piece out).
I had wandered away from the group of friends I was with (mistake #1) and let my curiosity get the best of me (mistake #2 ).
I walked into the pitch-black room and attempted to follow the rail to find my way to the actual exhibit. I’m pretty sure I backed out of that room at least twice. Sometimes I get a bit freaked out when I can’t see or hear. After chickening out twice I was frustrated at myself that I let this silly little thing freak me out and decided to face my fear (mistake #3).
Remember it’s pitch-black…I’m deaf and I can’t see when it’s pitch-black. I was more creeped out than when I’m at haunted houses. I kept hearing this random voice but assumed it was a recording talking about the exhibition or something so I ignored it (mistake #4).
I pulled out my phone and decided to use it as a flashlight (mistake #5).
I was proud of myself for finally building up the gut to go into this doggone scary dark room and for coming up with a way to see where I was going.
I hadn’t taken more than a few steps when I had a flashlight pointed directly at me. It took every inch of willpower to not scream out of fear. Turns out it was a security guard…our conversation went something like this:
Guard shining her light at me: “No lights!”
Me, still recovering from the shock of being scared out of my wits*: “What?”
Guard: “NO lights!”
Me trying to shine my phone light into her face so I could lipread her: “Whattt?”
Guard: “NO LIGHTS!”
Me in my confusion decided to shine my phone light even more directly into her face: “Hmm, what?”
Guard: “NOOOO LIGHTTSSS!!!”
Me: “Oh! *put away my phone and hoped I wouldn’t get kicked out of the museum*”
I found out later from someone else that the voice I had heard earlier was actually the guard talking and telling me where to walk (e.g., 2 steps left). I’m sure she thought I was a crazy woman.
I have no idea how I managed to follow her into the room without seeing where I was going or understanding what she was saying and without walking into a wall. We made it into the room with the actual artwork and apparently I was supposed to sit on a bench. Of course I had no clue what she was saying or if she was even talking to me hence her pulling out her mini flashlight again.
I eventually figured out I was supposed to sit and stare at a red screen in a pitch-black room. At this point I was completely freaked out and so sure that if I breathed wrong I would be banned from all the Smithsonian Museums for life. I may even have ruined this artwork since the guard had to pull her flashlight out more than once because I couldn’t follow her directions….
After I sat down the guard bought in 2 more people. Apparently I was supposed to scoot down the bench so these 2 people could sit by each other but again, I was so unsure of what I was supposed to do so I just sat there. One woman sat to the left of me and the second woman sat to the right of me.
Remember it’s pitch-black in this room. These women thought they were sitting next to each other so they kept leaning over to whisper to me, kept patting my leg, and kept patting my back….thinking I was their friend.
Yeah…let’s just say I didn’t last long in this room. I took off pretty quickly after that, lol.
Life is never boring when you’re deaf in a hearing world.