When you’re dealing with a high stress job, kiddos at that certain age where they are loud and boisterous (approximately 0 to 21-years old), dealing with a dog suffering from the canine equivalent of Tourette’s Syndrome (bark bark BARK nonstop!!!), and abnormally high levels of anxiety, you tend to find yourself wishing you couldn’t be found.
Wanting some solitude, that is.
Freedom from ominous crashing sounds in the next room.
A distinct lack of audible vibrations and sudden movement.
But it never works out that way, and you (and by you, I mean me) start yelling and screaming every time someone generates a sound louder than a matchstick slowly settling to the bottom of a glass of water.
A glass that’s actually made from wax-coated paper.
Soft, flexible, sound-absorbing wax-coated paper.
(You know what also doesn’t help? The computer you’re using crashing three times while you attempt to write this blog post, requiring you to disassemble it, vacuum out all the dust inside, reassemble it, turn it on, then wait ten minutes for the OS to scan and repair the disk. Seriously doesn’t help.)
Eventually, the people (and dog) around you figure out they better turn it down to -11 if they want to keep their skins attached to their bodies and you can finally relax a bit.
Ha ha, just kidding. They never figure this out.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
People (and this particular dog) are stupid.
So you yell and scream some more and then that pesky ear infection gets worse and after waiting a week and a half for an appointment the doctor looks in your ear, makes a very disquieting “Hmm, that’s interesting” sound, followed by him squeezing a thick ointment into said misbehaving ear canal.
An ointment that effectively leaves you deaf on one side for two weeks while your body slowly absorbs the infection-killing goo that’s all up in your ears.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this would reduce your wall-of-noise-that-won’t-go-away problem by 50%.
Forgiven, but still wrong.
Because now you can’t hear people when they’re talking to you (and you want/need to hear them), you can still hear the unwanted noise through the other ear, you can no longer accurately gauge the direction said annoying noise is coming from¹, and on top of that, your brain decides, “Hey, it’s waaay too quiet on that side of my head. Far more quiet than I’m accustomed to. I better generate a never-ending ringing sound to compensate. Ah yeah, that’s it. That’s the stuff. Oh yeah. Ring-a-ding-ding.”
Because, and I’ve said this before, many times, my brain is a jerk.
So if you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s because I’ve gotten over my financial anxiety long enough to buy an isolation tank with built-in white noise generator.
Or I’ve filled both ears with caulk and then super-glued noise-canceling headphones over that sticky mess.
Either way, I’m probably miserable and, unable to hear my phone, won’t be returning your calls.
¹ This is a seriously disturbing side effect of being deaf in one ear. At night, I can still hear the Missus breathing (and snoring…ahem), but because the ear closest to her is blocked, it sounds like someone is breathing on the other side of me! Yes, I bought the larger isolation tank, but after that first night, I had to kick her out.