Liz and David came home from Santa Fe the other night.
I saw Lizzie but I didn’t see David so when David left the next morning to go to work he thoughtfully knocked on my door so he could say hello to me and more importantly, Raymond.
Now if I’m in my bedroom, with the TV blasting generally I can’t hear if someone’s at the door. One exception is that I can usually hear David who always notifies me of his presence by banging on the door and screaming in German.
(I gotta say that if there were no such thing as Nazis David would have had to invent a reasonable facsimile. They just have been so useful to him in dealing with the few Jews he comes in contact with, mainly me)
Back to what I was saying. This time I didn’t hear him and I had to start my day unscathed.
Only later did I realize that with all the shit that comes with getting older, maybe my hearing is getting worse too.
Why just the other day I was in the car with my sister and I told her that my eyes keep tearing.
I was surprised by her response and questioned her “Where did I get these earrings? You were with me. I got them inVenice.”
She yelled at me “I didn’t say anything about earrings. I said “Why do you think your eyes keep tearing?”
I just shrugged and said “I guess it’s the new make up I just bought”.
Only now am I saying to myself that even in context I should have been able to figure out that it didn’t make any sense for her to talk about earrings when I was clearly wiping my eyes and kvetching about them tearing.
Why didn’t I just say “What?”
I’ll tell you why. Because like my father before me I wasn’t aware of how bad my hearing was getting.
I’m also thinking of adopting his response when my mother suggested he get a hearing aid which was “I’ve heard enough”.
I think he was right. How important is it to hear stuff anyway.
I remember at my Aunt Rae’s 80th birthday which was held at the Windows of the World, the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Tower listening to a conversation between my two brothers in law, Jim and Bernie.
The conversation went on for quite awhile. My sister Marcia and I sat there listening and marveling that Jim was talking about my Aunt Rae while Bernie was talking about Ronald Reagan and neither one of them realized it.
They both had a good talk and did the world come to an end because neither one was hearing the other? I think not.
In fact as my old friend Ernie Matterasso used to say “Except for an occasional “Watch out” he hasn’t said anything that had to be said in the past five years.”
I think it’s been longer for me.