Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Waiting Room

I'm getting better. Ear healing up, headaches fading. Stopped by the doc's for a checkup and he said all's going well except I shouldn't wear my glasses for a while so the incision can heal better. As I am currently unable to wear a hearing aid in either ear, insert your own Helen Keller joke here… The question remains still, will the bugger work? I hope it does. Silence is aight and the longterm prognosis is, as I mentioned earlier, 100 percent fatality, but it gets boring not being able to flirt, shoot the breeze and make fun of people out loud. I can't wear an aid in my good (non-surgery) ear these days because of the headaches, the other (surgery) ear is now, sans implant, as permanently deaf as a Supreme Court justice and this leads to, among other things, overlong blog entries.

I'm curious – what will the world sound like through an implant? Every implantee I've met says the same thing: different. Different how? I ask. They all say: I can't describe it. You'll just have to see.

Will people sound like I remember? Will dogs and buses and wind and rustling leaves and pots in the sink? What the hell do people sound like anyway, other then like themselves – except, it must be noted, for my father on his outgoing office telephone message, in which he sounds like a gravelly voiced black gospel singer comforting a young groupie while slowly asphyxiating to death. Creepy, I know. But my point: if people no longer sound like themselves, what will they sound like? That "you've got mail" voice? That "please stand clear of the closing doors" voice?

They all sound like Mickey Mouse, a lot of implantees say, but that's just the first couple of days.

Another thought: several of the implantees say that they can make out voices on the TV. Not all the voices and not all the time, but some. I'm looking forward to seeing what that's like. I can honestly say, in my life, I have almost never understood a single word on television without captioning. I could pick Letterman's voice out of a line up maybe, by his pauses and inflections, and every now and then I'd pick out a "Paaaauul" because I'd be waiting for it, but other then that, I couldn't understand a thing. So it'll be interesting to see if I can hear voices on the TV. If I can hear punchlines before I read the captioning.

You know what, scratch that thought, I watch too much of that crap as it is. I'll think up new goals for another entry.

Samboni is at the John Hopkin's hospital as I write, probably coming out of the recovery room about now. He will soon learn the golden rule of modern nursing care: quality of service = frequency of pain meds. I don't know how the operation went yet, but I assume it went well because the night before, in what has to be considered a sign from that big Google in the sky, Sammy found a sweet deal on another BMW.

He told me this a few hours before going to sleep. On finding this new BMW, all fear and worry left him instantly and he was completely serene about today's operation.

"This car thing has served me well," he said. "Worrying about something completely irrelevant is much healthier."

I repeated back to him his last words to me two weekends ago in NYC, where he had been for a visit and we drank a glass of scotch to the two ears (one each) that had served us well and were now being disconnected forever. We were standing on West 94th street, saying goodbye. Becky was filming from the sidewalk.

"Good luck bro" I had said.
"Good luck to you," said Sammy.
"Don't fuck up my car."
"I won't. I'll see you on the other side."
"You'll see me on the what side? What? Where?"
"The other side."
"Oh. Gotcha."
I walked away down the street
"Josh?" he called after me.
I turned. "Yeah?"
"Where's a good chicken place around here?"


Blogger UncaJonny said...

Amsterdam and 97th, Sam.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Texas BBQ? Isn't that on Broadway?

7:29 PM  

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