A Time for Hearing

Whenever the seasons change, particularly from summer to autumn, and the temperature fluctuates enough to bring out or put away certain types of clothing, my nose gets extra snotty or congested.  I was expecting it to happen this year, but it didn’t…at least not in the usual way.

Instead, my hearing decided to go on a semi-hiatus for a week.  One moment in the middle of the afternoon, everything was fine, and the next moment, part of my head felt like it was underwater and the other part seemed okay.



Machine sounds were very loud (vending machines, laundry machines, ice machines); I could “hear” the vibrations of automobile traffic before “hearing” the actual engine noise of the cars; human voices were almost painful to the ears.  After a couple days and nights of much research, I’d hypothesized that my hearing troubles were partly psychosomatic and partly my body’s confusion about where to put the mucous. And the sinuses seemed as good a place as any — the pressure under the eyes and nose without the snot running or doing that oozy drip-drip-drop from nostril to nostril.

Things have improved but I’ve felt horrible, truly horrible, on a level I haven’t before imagined.  I *almost* would not wish this experience upon the most cacophonous misogynist, xenophobe, homophobe, theophobe or all of the above.

I’ve taken for granted many of my body parts before, but I’d never considered how much I would miss being able to hear normally.

On account of environmental factors (air quality), I don’t think the mucous is going to recede completely any time soon.  It’s bizarre the way the body fights against invaders and protects itself from pathogens — by making you feel terrible.


For many Americans, today is a reason to eat all the major food groups (while still allowing for dietary restrictions) and to thank each other for whatever…

but the shadow over the feasting grows larger and larger every year.  I’m not giving thanks on this day in its creative history iteration.  I am, however, grateful for many experiences and people I’ve known (for better or worse) and the facets of the world that never cease to amaze and irritate me.  Sometimes, each time is like the first time.

History repeats itself because the equations have to be balanced.  Too much weight on one side always conjures weight on the other.  History repeats itself because there aren’t enough dissenters (of every stripe and flavor) in positions of agency and consideration…who would do things differently without threatening anyone’s way of life.

Harmony might be the goal, but if co-existence cannot be reached first, in what reality could the former take shape?


The Army-Navy game will be on December 10 this year at 3pm east coast time and televised on CBS.

And now for some Bjork.

4 thoughts on “A Time for Hearing

  1. Christopher

    I wonder if your hearing problems are arising because of fluids (mucous etc) leaking into the area behind your eardrums, and building up, so that your eardrums can’t expand and contract normally?

    If so, this may explain why you “…….’hear’ the vibrations of automobile traffic before ‘hearing’ the actual engine noise of the cars……..”

    I have, by the way, this same problem, caused originally by fluids leaking into the area behind one of my eardrums, that remained there so long (maybe years) that it scarred the eardrum, so that it no longer contracts and expands normally.

    Hence I have to keep clamping my fingers over my nostrils, thus closing them, and then blowing, which causes the eardrum to expand, the better that it can then calibrate and mediate external noise, in the way unscarred eardrums automatically do. This exercise also enables these unwanted fluids behind the eardrum to leak out again via the eustation tube.

    So, like you, I’m afflicted by my senses (and my very being) constantly being invaded by the very low rumble of traffic, and the very low decibels of the general hum of the city. This humming drives me crazy. But it sort of goes away when I get my eardrum to expand in the way I described.

    I’m also greatly helped by a sound therapy machine that I acquired some years ago, that can create various “white” sounds that drown the humming. It constitutes my refuge from this most irritating hearing affliction.

  2. Christopher

    “……the shadow over the feasting grows larger and larger every year…….”

    Are you referring to the 250 million or so turkeys that must be slaughtered at this time of year, just so almost the entire nation (of America) can sit down and guzzle its Thanksgiving dinner?

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      I’ve read about that nose-holding-blowing thing and I can’t do it. It doesn’t work. Do you ever hear sounds in silence? Last weekend, when there started to be some improvements, but machines were still too loud, I had listened to recordings of cat purring and binaural beats. I’d start hearing the purring and the humming even in the quietness near sleep.

      The shadow of what Thanksgiving means to the colonizers of this huge chunk of land. The New World. Every year, the truth of what indigenous peoples of North America endured at the hands and policies of the white man a few hundred years ago grows larger and larger. It’s impossible to keep believing in tall tales about breaking bread together in that particular narrative that most children learn in primary school.

  3. Pingback: A Tale for the Unexpected | Sitting Pugs: Sports Movies

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