13 April 2011

Side effects


My ear infection has cleared up, but it's taking a while for the fluid in my ear to drain. My equilibrium is still off, and I am more clumsy than usual.

In the past week I have: 
  • dropped a fully dressed pizza on the floor as I slid it into the oven.
  • spilled a jar of caesar salad dressing everywhere: on the shelves and walls of the fridge, underneath the vegetable bin, between the grooves of the freezer door, on the kitchen wall, across the floor, myself. I discovered that exploded caesar salad dressing looks alarming like sick, and after I'd cleaned up, spent the rest of the day smelling faintly of anchovy. 
  • scattered a pound of coffee beans to the far corners of my kitchen.


    With my fluid filled ear I am subject to aural illusions. I hear strings of repetitive phrases echoing in my head. This is not unpleasant, and has me wondering if this is what it's like to be Phillip Glass, or Steve Reich. The flurry of buzzing, ringing, high-pitched whirs is more irritating. I hear phones ringing constantly, and I'm only right a third of the time. Since I am now trained to jump like a seal whenever my phone rings, pings, or buzzes, I look foolish running around to answer non-existent text messages.

    Partial hearing loss has exacerbated the problem of marital deafness. Conversations go like this.

    Me: What did you say?
    David: Nothing.
    Me: Can you repeat that?
    David: I didn't say anything.
    Me: What?

    David: Did you see that email?
    Me: I think it's under the sink.

    David: She has a swagger in her walk.
    Me: There’s a spider in your what?

    I spend a lot of time saying HUH? and WHAT? I turn my head at unusual angles when engaged in conversation, in an effort to improve reception, creating the impression that I have a mild form of Aspergers. 

    When we’re in the car, with the kids in the back rows, I can’t hear a thing. One day as we were driving across town I had to ask Gabriel to repeat himself so many times that he grew frustrated, and began to repeat himself loudly, and slowly, as if he were futilely trying to communicate with a non-native English speaker. It was a bit like this (see 2-minute mark):

    My hearing may be off, but it turns out I can still hear well enough to know when I’m being condescended to.

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