RATING: G
NOTES: New series. See Part One.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the West Wing or any of its related
characters. Don't sue.
SUMMARY: Different people of the West Wing reflect on their lives so
far.

I wish I could say what I'm about to say and actually mean it: I
wish Josh would listen to me. The problem is that no one listens to
me. They listen to Kenny and I just kind of stand there while we
argue through translation. My entire life I've been deaf, and
sometimes the frustration disappears, and sometimes it's all too
strong. Some people seem to think that because I'm deaf, I'm also
stupid and others seem to think that if they speak s-l-o-w-l-y and
enuciate, it will actually make a difference. Now that I have Kenny,
they rarely do that any more... However, they all talk to him and
not to me.
I wasn't suppose to have been here this long. I came in to work
on English as the national language and other polling nightmares, and
now it seems that I just can't get enough of this place. I like
arguing with Josh, that's for sure. He gets this cute kind of smirk
when he gets exasperated. It's darling.
He's a sexy guy. I shouldn't be thinking that, but he is. Remind
me never to tell him that either.
Josh has just left the room that they commonly refer to as my
office. Kenny is signing with me and I'm slightly conscious of
returning the conversation, but my mind is elsewhere.
How did I get here? When I was a child, I had the hardest time
dealing with all the people who were too ignorant to realize that
although I was deaf, I was actually somewhat intelligent. It's hard
to grow up like that. I grew up though, and I went to college and I
entered the field of politics. I'm actually pretty good at it too.
Some people are okay with dealing with me at first; others look at me
as if they've never seen someone who couldn't hear before.
My parents were supportive when I was growing up. They never once
treated me like I was stupid or an invalid. Actually, to be more
prescise, my mother was supportive. My father just never said
anything at all. He was never home very much. He was a workaholic,
just like I am today. Unlike me however, he also had a bit of a
drinking problem. I hope I'm not like that.
Having the good luck to be in California was nice. Sacremento. I
mean, if I had ended up somewhere like Fresno, God knows where I'd be
now. I'm seriously lucky that didn't happen.
So now here I am, in Washington D.C., working in the White House
for one of the greatest Presidents of all time. Bartlet is a great
President. He truly is. I mean, when I first met him, I was a bit
shocked by his bluntness, but I also realized that he was under a
great deal of stress at the time. Being President can do that to you,
I've heard.
What strong people there are around here. What strong wonderful
people there are around here that keep this country in running
condition. The fact that Joshua Lyman has any doubts that they'll be
re-elected surprises me. I mean, aside from the fact that he's got a
heck of an ego, he also knows the playing field pretty well and so do
the rest of them. They know that there's only a one in about twenty
chance that they won't be re-elected, what with their numbers and all.
Why is it that I'm compelled to stop thinking about work even
though I'm sitting here in my office talking to my assistant? I want
to think about something else; anything else.
There's so much in my life that I look back on that I remember
with fondness. There's so much that I look back on that I remember
with tears. What an interesting world that I've experienced. I don't
suppose that there are that many people who have had it better than I
have, but I'm never so sure about saying things like that. I have met
a lot of people in the course of my life and my education who have
the same handicap that I do, and it's not like we're a lower class of
people. I've met doctors and scientists, other politicians, all sorts
of people.
And yet there are still people out there who think that if they
speak s-l-o-w-l-y and enuciate, that will make a difference. Idiots.
My mother used to tell me stories before I went to sleep. We'd
talk about our days or we'd read side by side. I always loved
reading. As I grew older, I had less time to do it in, but she was
always there in her bed, reading whichever book she was on, waiting
for me to come in and say goodnight. I miss my mother. I miss those
times that we had together.
For a living, I get people elected, I analyze polls, I give
politicians advice and I argue a heck of a lot. I couldn't do very
much of that without Kenny. It's strange how French and Spanish and
German are all languages that you can learn in High School, but Sign
Language is not on the curriculum. If it were, my life would probably
be a lot easier. A bit more lonely without Kenny, but he'd probably
find something not quite so menial to do with his life.
I have to call Al Keifer. I really don't want to call Al
Keifer. He's been on my case ever since they gave me an office here.
I don't know if he thinks I'm some sort of "traitor" or what; he
mentioned something about Josh, but I'm not sure I really wanted to
go into that. Josh is a good guy, a sweet guy with strong ideals and
a nice demeanor about him. Al is a guy who is convinced that he's
always right, even when he knows he's undeniably wrong, and then he
goes around telling people to do stupid things, and he calls himself
a genius.
I wonder what he's so worried about. Ha.
How is it that I have so many meetings today? I'd rather just
sit here in my office and pretend like I'm paying attention to what
Kenny is saying to me. I think he knows that I'm not paying
attention. He smiles at me and says that he's going to get a cup of
coffee. It's ten in the morning; part of me wonders why he didn't get
his cup of coffee a lot sooner.
I think I should go visit my father some time soon. I haven't
been to the home in nearly a year. He hasn't called me or inquired,
but I think that has more to do with the Alzheimer's than anything
else. I believe in that man, despite all the things that we've been
through. He got over the alcohol for me. I got over the hostility for
him. Yes, I admit it. There was a time when I was just naturally
hostile towards people because I believed that everyone was going to
treat me like an invalid; I thought that if I was ready for their
rudeness, I would be okay, but my 'readiness for rudeness' somehow
morphed into 'come near me and I'll bite your <censored> head off'
and it showed. I learned how to change that, thank God.
I still use it in politics though. Who could blame me?
I suppose I have to go now. There are so many things that I
have to do. Actually there's not that much that I have to do; it
would just look better if I were working on the stuff that I was
supposed to be working on as opposed to sitting here staring into
space. Wouldn't want people to think that I'm stupid or anything.
I'm not stupid. I know that. I made it this far. I plan on
making it a hell of a lot further as well.

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