When I’m at city council meetings and have signed up for my three-minutes of fame – speaking my mind at the microphone – I’ve forewarned whoever is sitting next to me that when my name is called could they let me know?
If there happens to be nobody next to me then when the mayor calls my name I’m guessing that’s the reason he looks my way. I know it’s for sure my turn when all seven city councilmembers are looking at me. But even then, just to be doubly sure, I’ll point to myself and mouth the word ‘me?’ and when I receive a confirming nod that’s when I approach the podium.
We teach a class of youth and I swear they whisper just to torment me. My wife translates what they have to say so that I know how to respond.
Everyone mumbles; the TV is cranked to 60 – and even then if it weren’t for subscript rolling texts I’d be at a loss; theater headphones are totally inadequate; I can’t hear the preacher so I just doodle; I guess – wrong, much of the time – what people are saying which is often occasioned by laughter. Such has been my life spent in my relatively quiet world.
But no more.
My brother and sister surprised me by totally underwriting my ability to hear again.
‘The sound of cash registers ringing will at first be unfamiliar; in a restaurant you’ll be inundated with the otherwise quiet conversations of everyone in the room; your own voice may startle you,’ were the comments – I think I heard them say – made by my brother and my son who have both already taken this step, it being evidently hereditary in our family.
Like most of us I imagine, I’d like to think I’ve listened well with my heart.
Now I’ll be able to use my ears too.