The strangest thing happened to me last week. I bellyflopped off a banana boat into the sea and lost the hearing in my right ear for six days.
It’s very strange, not being able to hear. I can’t sleep if it’s too quiet, I like a bit of urban bustle to lull me off. That said, the past few nights I have had raging torrents of blood flowing through the tinnitus region of my head. It woke me up, I thought it was raining. I could even feel it on me, so mad was I going. Then I realised I’d left the window open.
My balance was affected, strangely enough – the inner ear is a strange place, like the outer reaches of Mordor, or the Matrix. Strange shit goes on in the inner ear. I kept sitting down half on, half off chairs, bumping into door frames as I tried to go between rooms and even painfully scraping my arm on a wall.
There’s a terrible feeling of solitude when sounds become a stranger to you – not being able to follow conversations or having ambient noise that drowns out everything, it’s like a blanket. You stop working hard to try and follow what’s going on and slip into a sub-basement filled with your own thoughts and occasionally people waving at you because you’re not paying attention. Yes, my ear, remember? I’ve been saying this for five days.
But oh, the relief when the sound comes flooding back. I lapse into a wearisome resignation when I cut my finger or get a cold sore, the sort of thing that comes and goes in a few days. I can’t remember life without my disablement, but debilitating affliction. I don’t know how pregnant women cope. I was wholly resigned to a life of deafness, head cocked to one side in a vain attempt to try and hear the blaring television. I was considering learning sign language or getting a dog. A pug for the deaf, perhaps.
And yet here I am, the foolish man who built his inner ear problems on the sand. Where are my headphones again?
35 minutes ago