I had been struggling with the newer hearing aids for over two years. And the audiologists kept saying they are the state of the art but my ears were itching and my brain hurt. It was irritated, my brain was. With the new hearing test, the audiologist said you work very hard at hearing, don’t you? I could have wept with no reserve, I was so relieved someone noticed.
There was more loss in hearing, but he said I can do nothing for your brain. It is not registering always the switch necessary for human voices. And because I focus so deeply on thought to shut out head noises, it is tiring and aging does not have much energy in reserve.
So to engage in conversation with more than one person is very hard work. It is not because I am not paying attention. And when you call and I give someone the phone to talk to you, it is because I do not hear. Not that I don’t want to talk.
I am grateful for the people in my life who help me. Especially family. They allow me space to work my work as long as I draw breath. I hope I am worth my keep.
I Don’t Know How To Be Deaf. . .
I am among you whom I love,
and try to understand your words.
I read your gestures, your body language
and your eyes telling me again
what you wish me to know.
I am desperate to understand.
Your impatience runs through your body
and into mine. Shackled am I
with emotions as mine tumble
with yours and consume me.
We have shared our histories
through decades but now you run ahead of me
and I take my silent world and retreat.
I piece your words, the ones I hear
with a history I secured in mind.
What I have learned to read
by eyes that speak, are words that run
like rivers into each other to form
a crash against walls I hope I did not build.
Aged now, rubbed raw, there is nothing left
to flex against, to tell me how to assuage the deficit.
There is little energy at the end of Now
to make it work. . . no lessons offered
along the way but to be left dumb. . . .
I just don’t know how to be deaf.