July 25th, 2022
I have an obsession with the word “weird.”
It’s not one of those inexplicable things. I know why.
The ASL sign for the word “weird” is to take the letter W and crawl it across your face horizontally.
Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait.
You look incredibly silly but I love it.
My mom would take it one step further (I get it from somewhere) and change the direction of the W, instead shoving it vertically up her face, often getting one of the points of the W, a finger, directly up her nose, or mine.
It reminded me every time how unique sign language is as a form of communication.
Sure, you can say the word “weird” weirdly.
But with sign language, you can literally change the physical dimensions of a word to enhance meaning, imbuing individual characteristics that make words both universal and one-of-a-kind.
No one signed “weird” like my mama did.
And I miss that so terribly about her; I miss her words because she spoke them like nobody else did, and nobody else ever will.
When I went to name my superhero team, a group of absolute losers with character defects for miles, I didn’t have to think hard.
They were all a bunch of weirdos.
In the sense that my mom would love them like she loved the word “weird.”
Love them for their shortcomings, not despite them. Cheer them on, even when she didn’t know exactly what it is they were trying to do.
Know that they were good people, deep down inside, even when their outside parts invariably failed or did bad things.
Weird stuff. I’m thinking about weird stuff.
I just really miss seeing my mom pick her nose today.