29 Jun 07

One is so much more aware of noise when one has a severe waxy build-up in one’s left ear. This is on account of the fact that one gets the full brunt of it in the other ear.

The last few months, my ears have been “a bit funny,” making life feel like I’ve been floating through a dream. This has been handy in some respects – it did, for example, go some way towards blocking out the roar of the traffic on Hagley Road, on my daily walk to work, during my three months of living in Birmingham. Living in a dreamy state is sometimes preferable to tolerating the clamour of reality. It has, however, lead to some strained lunchtime conversations on the mobile with my girlfriend, having to turn the telly up beyond an otherwise reasonable level and a puzzlement at why the bad guys in my gaming sessions seem to be able to creep up on me more easily than before.

Imagine my delight, the other day, when I fished out a pea-sized lump of wax from my right ear! Suddenly I could hear the rustling of clothes, the buzz of light bulbs and Tomb Raider became much more audibly vivid! Not to mention the fact that, when one ventured into more rural environs, from an auditory perspective the world seemed positively teeming with wildlife! The only downside was that the increased clarity in one ear rendered me more aware of the dullness in the other. And furthermore, by some karmic act of universal balance, the left ear has now become even more blocked, to the point where, at the time of writing, it has become virtually useless. This could be down to the fact that, in an attempt to equalise the clarity of the two organs, I had a fish around in the left, resulting, so it would seem, in the further pushing in of the wax therein. Additional rummaging seems to have resulted in an infection, a consequent swelling of the internal workings of said organ, a further lack of clarity and a damnable dose of ear-ache to boot. My girlfriend said I should stop fiddling and let the blockage loosen in its own sweet time… Easier said than done!

Like I was saying, though, the noise… What an infuriating annoyance! Schoolchildren speaking at schoolchildren-volume at the train station! The screeching of the train as it pulls to a halt! The dreadful demented din of roadworks! Stapling, holepunching, shredding, photocopying, stamping, printing… and laughing! Loudly! I can’t stand it; I’m off to buy some ear drops…

*    *    *

As I now sit here, occasionally dabbing at my oily leaking ear with a cotton wool pad, I count down the hours until I can lock myself in a silent, darkened room, hopefully sans wax, and give my right olfactory organ the well-deserved rest it deserves after the torment I have unwittingly put it through today. I drink my green tea and breathe slowly and think peaceful thoughts, as a grating, chalkboard laugh cuts through the office ambience and stabs at my senses.

1… 2… 3… 4…

A holepunch punches holes directly into my brain.

5… 6…

A stapler staples my medulla oblongata to my cerebral cortex.

7… 8…

A teaspoon clanks against the inside of my skull.


A falling file sends shockwaves through my cerebrospinal fluid.



I think I may just stick some cotton wool in the other ear… :/



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