Thursday, October 4, 2007


I woke up at in the middle of the night last night because someone rang the doorbell. For about thirty seconds I was really frightened. Was it one of my kids, standing on the doorstep, bleeding, with bones sticking out all over, needing me? Was it the police, asking me to take in flood victims because the dam broke and the river bottoms were now under seventeen feet of water? Could it be some weird person, recently escaped from a mental institution, carrying a machete down his pant leg?

It was none of those things. It was the train whistle on the other side of town. In fact, last night the train started giving its warning whistles miles and miles away from town. It was so far away that when it woke me up I had to strain to hear it again. I dare say that no one else on this side of town could hear it at all.

In the summer I can hear people’s air conditioner go on and off way up the street. I can hear the first cricket of the season when his leg muscles are so brand new and feeble he doesn't "crick" yet but just makes "fooshing" noises

So, why is it that when someone whispers to me in church I can’t hear? I have to put my ear so close to their mouth they probably get earwax on their nose. Is it because I don’t want to participate in rudeness while someone else is giving a lesson or speaking in Sacrament meeting by talking? Or do I have selective hearing, attuned to odd stuff, like weed-eaters, in the rain, two blocks over?

Whatever it is, it’s annoying. It’s a handicap. I am both hearing impaired and a hearing genius, but at the wrong time. I want to be able to hear whispers and not hear faint train whistles, especially at 2:00 AM. Of course if I heard someone whisper at 2:00 AM I would really be freaked out so maybe I'll be happy with how things are. If you're up at 2:00 AM, when the train goes by, come on over. I'll be up answering the door anyway.

1 comment:

n7gmt said...

I think the term is auditory savant. :-)

Hmm … maybe I should go find something interesting to do. At 2 am. Involving a train whistle, perhaps. It'd be nice to see you.