The 2000 Yard Stare
The cloud follows me everywhere I go. A black rain cloud, complete with thunder. It never stops.
Have you ever looked into a puddle of water? What do you see? A clear reflection of the surroundings. A perfect mirror reflecting a perfect image. When I come along I bring my cloud.
Have you ever looked into a puddle in the rain? What do you see? Not much. The sounds in my head are my cloud. I take them everywhere. When I look into the puddle, it is raining. I can't see the image as you can.
If you toss a stone into the pool it makes a splash, followed by rings that spread themselves out on the surface of the water. If we are talking, and someone tosses something into the conversation, it makes splashes and rings in my puddle. I lose the image until the rings disappear and the puddle settles down to reveal... the rain. Mother used to talk about the soothing sound of the rain on a tin roof. It never stops. It never soothes my soul any longer. My rain is just there.
Sleep is the only freedom. Upon awakening, however I am harshly reminded that I am still alive, and it is still raining. Always raining. It never stops...it is just there.
I don't want to be left out. I never did. But I am. If I try and stop the flow of the conversation to ask what she or he just said, I get in the way. I am always in the way. I don't want to be in the way with my friends or associates. They don't know; I smile, nod and share the same timing and facial expressions. The ones that do know have forgotten. I understand. My cloud is not their cloud. I don't wear a bandage for what ails me. According to some, nothing ails me. It's just the sound of rain. It's the sound that I'll grow old with and the sound that takes my days apart, minute by minute.
Everyone is laughing hysterically. Not me. "What did he say?" The laughter continues, without me. Hurts. My friends want me to stop them and ask about what was said. Things happen too fast for that. I missed the fun part of the conversation, you see. The moment is already gone and I smile and laugh with the expressions that I see.
Telephone rings...hate it. I might miss something, and things go too fast for me to be sure I have it right. Sometimes I just give up and pretend I understand. I wonder what they think? Is she all there? Why did she say that? Forgive me. I don't always have the courage to ask you once more to repeat what you said. I remember how I felt when I was asked to repeat to my elderly grandparents.
I can't play the violin with my son. The E string and I are not friends. Everything above G sounds like G to me. The squealing in my head sounds like an orchestra of flutists warming up before the big concert. I can no longer enjoy the one thing I love more than almost all else: music. My passion is now my plague. Rain. Kazoos. Distortion. Isolation...this is not the world that I want.
When the situation is favorable, the rain doesn't really bother me that much. I feel on top when I am sure I have been part of the conversation. I feel needed. I feel creative. I feel real again.
I Love E-mail from my Tinnitus friends. Please keep it coming! Pax!!
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