|Cover of The Pocket Muse|
Write about a noise -- or a silence -- that won't go away.The air conditioner isn't especially loud. In fact, it makes for some great white noise at night. The underlying hum blocks out the outside noise.
That's sort of the problem. I don't know if it's the precise pitch, or what, but it tends to block out the noise inside, too. The volume on the television has to be cranked up high, and I can't understand what Chris is saying to me if we're in separate rooms.
This is partly my own fault. In high school, I rode the bus with some kids who... well, I don't know what their ultimate goal was, nor do I care, but they were actively, intentionally obnoxious, and at times ramped it up to full-on bullying.
I knew listening to my headphones at such a high volume could ruin my hearing in adulthood, but I decided that saving my sanity "now" was worth risking my hearing "later."
Now that it's "later," I don't regret it. I resent having had to make that choice, but I still think I made the right one.
What's funny is, I'm pretty sure I would pass a hearing test just fine. They just play the tones at decreasing volumes, and it's just a tone, and you're listening for it. It's tones I'm not listening for that are the problem. And more importantly, it's words. I can hear the tones just fine -- I know you're talking to me, and I can pretty much make out the vowels -- but your consonants get lost.
There aren't many people reading this, but I know those of you who do have a wide knowledge base among you. Anyone know of a hearing test that measures consonants distinguished through background noise?
Because until I get that figured out, I can't talk to you in a bar where there's music playing, unless you're cool with repeating every other sentence. And I for one hate doing that, so I'd never ask you to.