Blocked

A short essay

Image credit: Flickr CC Internet Archive Book Images

By Carol Chester


Sitting in the Sullivan Commons at Worcester State University, I hear two women talking at a table across the room from where I am seated. Normally, there would be nothing unusual about overhearing a conversation. However, on this day, I find the experience exhilarating. For the past nine days, my hearing has been impaired by the buildup of wax in both ear canals. As a result, I have not been able to understand what people are saying, even if they are sitting right next to me.

During the past several days, I tried various remedies, including ear wax relief drops, hydrogen peroxide applications, and streams of water squirted from a rubber syringe. Nothing seemed to be working. No ear wax came out of my ear, and my hearing continued to be significantly impaired.

Then this morning, while taking a shower, I made another attempt to blast the wax out of my ears. Over and over, I filled the rubber syringe with water and squeezed the bulb. Finally, after several unsuccessful attempts, I felt one ear pop open. Suddenly, I could hear again. All the sounds that moments earlier had been muted came alive. At that moment, I realized we never appreciate what we have until we lose it. Thank God I was given the opportunity to hear again.

Now I can hear conversations all the way across the room. Watch out, world, I can hear what you are saying.

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