There’s a brass band way down the street. Part of me is excited for its arrival on my doorstep and part of me wants to lock the door and draw the shades.
It’s been very quiet in my head for the past ten days. The ear that got the cochlear implant is essentially dead at the moment, not working, out of commission, not even the tiniest sneak of hearing while I wait for the implant to be activated later this week. The other ear with the hearing aid has stepped up, doing the hearing of two ears, a workhorse of an ear for sure. But without that hearing aid, there is almost no hearing happening.
The sensation of having gone over the wall to the land of the deaf is pretty overwhelming. But I have to tell you this. There is a serenity here that is hard to find in the world of noise and talk. But the serenity holds hands with boredom. I can do plenty to amuse myself. I can think great big thoughts. I can read important books. I can write this blog.
What I can’t do is have much of a conversation, casual or otherwise. Today, while we were walking, I asked my husband if he thought that we would start chit-chatting more after my implant is activated. “No,” he said, “we never did chit-chat all that much.”
We did. He just doesn’t remember.
So Thursday, the brass band is showing up. That’s when I see the audiologist and the implant is activated. I’ve been warned that it will seem like an onslaught of noise, a cacophony, and that seems extraordinary and awful at the same time.
I wonder if I will even know how to act when I can actually hear what people say. This will sound strange to you hearing folks out there but hearing people will require me to acknowledge and engage with them. If you aren’t deaf, you really just can’t ignore people. If you are deaf, folks get used to it. They even start to count on it.
I admit that I’ve become a bit of a Boo Radley, more comfortable putting soap dolls in the crook of a tree for people to find than actually having conversations with them. But I decided I wanted out of this life and now I have to do what comes next.
I have to open the door to the brass band and be happy about it.