I have a big mouth. I wasn’t always this way. Somewhere along the line, though, I learned to talk back, something I’m especially good at when sticking up for loved ones. Even though I’m in a wheelchair and my voice is fading, I just had to say something when a man catcalled my sister Laura from his car and made her incredibly uncomfortable. As loud as I could, I let him have it in what Laura later called a “fun mix of feminist ranting and light swearing.”
Suddenly, the man drove off and Laura grabbed my wrist. “Rachel, the volume is all the way up!” she cried. I must have looked at her blankly, because she tapped the microphone at my mouth and scrambled to turn down the sound on my brand new ChatterVox voice amplifier. I totally forgot I was wearing it, and with the sound up so high, I might as well have shouted through a megaphone!
We hid by a big hydrangea bush and laughed so hard while families heading to the park and people coming home from work looked around for the crazy lady broadcasting obscenities up and down the block. I was just catching my breath when Laura said, “Well, you’re definitely still a teacher… I know those kids just learned some new words.” I started laughing all over again. She was right; I never could pass up a chance to give a vocabulary lesson.