Friday, December 10, 2010

Lend Me Your Ears

I've grown attached to my ears, emotionally, that is. And down through the years my ears have become attached to me. I like each one without favoritism. They don't draw attention to themselves like Obama's or Leonard Nimoy's. I have no problem with my lobes and I rather enjoy my outer labyrinth though I wouldn't know it from anyone else's.

It's only when they give me trouble that I give them the attention they probably crave. Now my right one is calling, or rather not calling in the manner I've grown accustomed. The doctor says I have otitis media, a middle ear infection or inflammation with a blocked Eustachian tube.

I love all my tubes though I can't think of any but a Fallopian; equipment I wasn't supplied with at birth. If I got one now I wouldn't know what to do with it.

So I'm hearing as if one ear is under water or on an airplane in a dive. Noises coming from the bedroom sound like they're coming from the kitchen. I'm walking west instead of east. I have to lip-read in restaurants and watch Rachel Maddow in closed caption.

Diminished hearing has its advantages. I'm not missing the noise from backing-up garbage trucks and the rhetorical garbage from mouths of liars spouting agreed-upon lies.

Every now and then a tune pops up in my head making its way around the planet. Is this the music of the spheres or just some ditty which has dislodged itself from some barnacle of memory? My right ear hears it even better than my left because the tune isn’t there.

Several friends have hearing aids. They're always complaining about them. Either there is feedback or they amplify ambient sounds too much. I hope my tube opens up again under the influence of antibiotics, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. That's a lot of anti for one tube to withstand.

My daughter, Janice, is congenitally deaf. When she was about eight years-old a well-meaning friend urged us to attend a miracle healing service. We arrived at the Shrine Auditorium in a bus from the Assembly-Of-God church. I lip-synched Bible songs so we wouldn't get thrown off or even under the bus. Jesus was scheduled to make an appearance. We sat in the balcony and Kathryn Kuhlman floated in wearing her white angelic gown. People were pouring onto stage throwing away their crutches and seeing eye dogs. Looking in our direction she said that she felt ears opening. I looked down at Janice. She said she had to go to the bathroom. Jesus had opened the wrong tube. Maybe I didn't believe strenuously enough. Or not at all.

Janice is doing fine now, thank you very much. She is herself a miracle, functioning well in both the hearing world and the deaf community with her lip-reading skills and signing. I only hope she doesn’t get any ideas about taking me to a faith healer. I don’t stand a chance.

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