Hearing Aids And Terrorism In The Sound Of Silence

By Dan Bodine

Coming back home from a visit with a pulmonary doctor across town yesterday afternoon, I heard a “zip” sound in my ears. And then: Silence!

Ah…That moment when both of your hearing aids get contrary and decide to go out at the same time, this questioning moment became for me.

But it’s hard to describe the Sound of Silence. My favorite is the sound of a hummingbird crying — when Autumn’s cooler weather signals that long journey South is due soon, whether or not it’s up-to-the-trip or not.

Death seldom plays favorites with stragglers. Can you imagine the sound of a Hummingbird crying? That‘s the Sound of Silence!

The Sound of Silence is empirically saddening, and frightening, too, in many ways.

Neither Noemi nor I seldom had ever been with each other when there was no communication, i.e. We’d always carried Spanish/English dictionaries, or been with translators in social gatherings usually.

I can remember in Ojinaga, Chih., MX, on occasions we’d have to stop ‘neath a street lamp at night to look up a word — to settle a minor but turning MAJOR squabble, say.

Always, God saved the moment for us. We’ve been married over 27 years now. Git a dictionary it sometimes still is. Don’t let ice set in!

The Sound of Silence may’ve been the world’s first terrorist, too! War stories, for instance, are full of that calm before the inevitable storm!

My late dad, Albert Ralph Bodine, an ol’ U.S. Army veteran, i.e., told and retold the story when he was injured in World War II during the Pacific Battle of Okinawa. Island hopping toward Japan, U.S. soldiers were.

“In the foxhole, it was a nothing-unusual moment. That kinda got real quiet. Then came that Zip...! And all hell breaks loose!

The hand grenade that exploded behind him, crippled him partially for life!

Silence! The sound of that tiny instant before! Don’t go there! was the message I learned.

I knew mine on this occasion wasn’t life-threatening, but…What the hell now?

Noemi wanted to stop to eat yesterday afternoon before going home, I knew. But the Sound of Silence was a stranger amongst us.

I knew she could hear me. But I only saw lips moving and arms and hands waving. Angrily? She went directly home instead.

Greatest invention since Cornbread?

Upon arrival, I immediately replaced the two used hearing aid batteries with new ones.

I heard the same “starting” sounds as I usually hear when placing new ones in my ear…

And then 2-3 seconds later, there came the same “zip” sound. Followed by silence.

And my chest tightened another notch. Had something permanent happened to my ears? I will never hear again? Another sound?!!

Quickly, I tore two more new batteries out of the little plastic package, fumbling them, and again replaced the ones in the two hearing aids.

There was that “zip”!

But then sounds, it was this time!

I could hear my feet shuffling nervously on the floor, i.e. Even my heavy breathing.

And so I smiled. Relieved.

My old batteries had expired, together. The first new ones I used were duds. Made cheaper for today’s consumers!

BUT Don’t give up! Life’s message always is! Try and try again!

Maybe tomorrow or next week, I’ll ask Noemi to carry me to the audiology department at the V.A. to have my hearing aids checked. Or cleaned. And ask for new batteries.

It seems like I may have a little problem.

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