Apparently, after nearly 50 years of being deaf, I've lost--or forgotten--the art of conversation. I'll be walking along with a friend, and she'll ask me, "Did you hear what I just said?" As we've been chatting, I'll have been keeping an eye on the path so as not to trip over the myriad cracks and uneven bricks sprinkled so generously throughout the fair City of Satan. And people who have known me for a while are well trained to think that if I am not looking right at them, I'm not hearing them. But I can hear pretty well now if I've got the implant's settings right, and I don't need to do that as much now. If they don't say something that I think requires a response (like ask a question), I don't feel the need to interrupt their narrative after every sentence. I dunno...jeez...sometimes I just like to listen to them talk. Dear Sally suggested, when I asked her about it this weekend, that I give some kind of audible clue back...like a grunt or something: "Uh huh, uh huh" (or, as they say it in Iowa, "MmMMH MmMMH"--faster and with the accent on the second syllable).
I'll try it. For years I've gotten my notions of conversation from books, and it's not the same as what people do when they actually TALK. It takes a long time to get the hang of acting like someone who can hear.