The New Natural

Noise. Perpetual noise. Like the constant humming or grinding or scraping of crickets. If what I “hear” is simply evidence of tinnitus—or even if it is not—I want it to stop. Now. Some days, I suppose I’m just used to it. Others, like today, I feel myself losing any traces of sanity I might still possess. Those incessant sounds tempt me to strive for absolute silence, using any means necessary to end the ceaseless buzz. An ice pick through the eardrum might do it. Or an explosive device, detonated the distance of a hair’s width from my ear. Or ears. Which ear is it? Or is it both? Perhaps only by drowning the sounds in yet more sounds will do it. Sitting next to railroad tracks as an enormously long freight train races by would at least mask the crickets. At least for a while.


The dream, details of which have completely escaped me, was frustrating and frightening. If I could remember it, I would record the unpleasant experience, with the objective of interpreting its meaning sometime later, when I am in a more serene mood. But that would do no good. The “meaning” of dreams often is nonexistent. It is simply a jumble of images and sounds and irrationality, sculpted around a sensation that feels like it should have meaning but, in fact, has none.


I finally met the woman who bought my house. She contacted me several days ago, by text, looking for a reliable HVAC service company. The heat in what is now her house had gone out just before a strong cold front was expected to descend on the state. And she mentioned that she had some mail for me. I gave her contact information, but opted to stay away for a few days, given that I was in the midst of a fierce cold, or something like it. Yesterday, though, I drove over. We chatted for a while and she gave me the mail, which included a sticker for my car license tags that I had paid for a few months ago but had not received (and had forgotten). When I entered the front door of the house, the view immediately gripped me; it was what had sold my late wife and me on the house when we bought it in 2014. But I now value even more the solitude of the forest, where I have no neighbors. Things change.


I may decide to drive to Little Rock tomorrow to close out a bank account. A short drive might satisfy my urge to take a road trip, but I doubt it will extinguish the desire to get away, on the open highway. An excuse. That’s all I need. Some reason to get in the car and go, But my annual physical is scheduled for next week, so I cannot just strike out for parts unknown without causing some grief for my physician’s office. And that’s the sort of thing that matters these days: keeping the doctor’s office happy. Crud.


I must leave soon. My blood draw and other lab work awaits. This is what occupies my time of late. Maybe I will make  it to breakfast with the “church men” after the blood-letting. Ach. I must get dressed and go.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to The New Natural

  1. Meg Koziar says:

    Getting hearing aids helped my tinnitus.

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