Saturday, October 25, 2008

the headphones

My headphones are an appendage of me. They rub ear pierces raw. They insulate me from the noise of kids—the tapping, the humming, the whistling, the off-key singing that clutters my brain. My headphones… they tether me to the TV. The cords surround me and entangle me with the DVD player. My ipod strangles me. I am caught in the connection I have now to electronic devices. Those devices used to be so insignificant to my daily life, but to connect through a cable seems so crucial now to my sane existence.
I suppose it is noise sensitivity. Perhaps it is the clanging around me that makes me lose track of my internal drumbeat, my internal song. My headphones are cheap therapy… releasing anxiety. They keep the song within me intact, undisturbed, and clear.

When I ask for quiet, I get challenged to measure the volume in each individual instance. They ask: Is this enough? Is this better? I say: No! I can still hear every word of rock music through the vents, pop music through the walls, and rap music down the hall. The mixture of noise, song, disharmony… it dislodges me. But there seems to be no relief. I thought they should have headphones, not me. I am the sensitive one that no one regards in their decisions. The kids are not mine to correct. They are not mine to mold into young folks aware of my sensitivity. They are unlike my grown children who share the same definitions of loud, disruptive, and insensitive. I would be the one instituting a police state, so therefore… my reprieve… the headphones.

The perimeter protects me. I am safe from the noise. I can think without interruption, without losing my thought when it releases from my unhinged head. The dog likes his den. As am I with the locus of points that surround my headphone jack.

I can see him across the room… my confidant, my best friend, my husband. But what is the latest development in my world? He is wearing headphones, too! I am two stages apart from him. He removes his. I remove mine. We are connected again. I talk. He listens.

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