It’s taken me quite a while to realize that I am some sort of freak of nature. My hearing is so acute that, well, it’s freaky.
Let me give you an example. Not too many years ago, I lost a stud earring. One day when I was getting ready for work, I HEARD it fall off the end of the bed onto the carpet. The carpet. Not only could I hear it fall onto the carpet, I could tell where it came from (the end of the bed). Who does this?
I pretty much expected at my age to have this hearing thing dimmed like everyone else I know. How many years did I race along in an enclosed car playing ZZ Top at full blast? In the case of damaging my hearing, I actually believed the adults who warned me about it, unlike several other warnings I got, but I just didn’t care. As Scarlett O’Hara said, I’ll worry about that tomorrow.
So let me give you another example. On Friday, I was stuck in traffic at a red light. I was the second car in line at the light and there were maybe 100 cars behind us. Unless the car in front of me moved, we were all trapped. And I heard an ambulance coming.
The ambulance was in the left lane where there were fewer cars and they could move. They could pull over into the median. I felt bad about not being able to move, but sometimes the best thing to do is sit still and let the ambulance maneuver around you.
So I had my driver’s side window down, and when the ambulance came screaming past me, which took all of about one second or less, I was like Ow, Ow Ow! I clapped my hands over my ears, but I was too late. My hearing may be acute, but my reaction time has not kept pace. When it was over, my hands were shaking. It was like having your brain pierced with a hypodermic needle through your ear.
So this has caused me to re-evaluate my whole view of life.
For instance, I really like Quiet. Noise, or even just sound, sometimes annoys me. Which is a bit counterintuitive, becasue at work, I live in cacophony. The other day I was talking to my corporate accountant on the phone and said, I have to pause for a minute to let this diesel truck go by. (I HATE diesel trucks.)
But normally, I seem to have some sort of filter. If I expect noise, I can deal with it. And I really don’t want Quiet all the time. Just mostly. And especially at home.
I have this cat that I adore, but she is too noisy. By which I mean, I can hear her. She is a talker, is always meowing for some reason or other if she’s awake. Or she’s purring, which I figure I could hear at the convenience store two blocks away. My previous cat was the ideal cat for me. He never talked, and in order to figure out whether or not he was purring you would have to put your hand on his throat.
You would think I would appreciate the fact that at least one of my senses works as advertised, or perhaps better than advertised, and I do, to an extent. But while I can filter it, I can’t turn it off. It’s a bit of a curse. As they say, be careful what you wish for.