Winner! The Writer's Cramp - 2/25/23 - W/C 751
“I swear, they make a holiday about everything and anything anymore. Just another excuse to have a day off or send a card, or make you feel guilty about something you forget to remember. By the way, did you remember to send a card to Justine? It’s her birthday in a week or so. And boy, I tell you, she is growing up so fast. It seems like just yesterday…”
At this point I took out my hearing aids. My left ear itched just a bit. My right ear had this buzzing sound. But Eleanor just kept on talking. And talking. She had mentioned something about today being National Quiet Day. So I’m getting a head start on celebrating.
I can see her lips moving. So now and again, I just nod and say, “Um, uh huh.” Then I state, “You don’t say,” every now and then. I continue reading the paper.
Suddenly my wife is standing before me, holding my hearing aids, waving them at me. So I reluctantly put them in.
“How are you going to hear anything with these just lying here? You can’t hear a word I say without those in, can you. So what do you think?”
Busted. I had no clue what she was referring to. I hadn’t heard a thing for the last hour, the best time I’d had in about a week. Except for sleeping, that is. I never hear a thing when I’m in bed. It’s wonderful to be deaf as a stone sometimes.
“Harold! Are you listening to me? Gracious!” Her voice seemed just a bit louder, even with the blasted hearing aids turned way down.
“What? What do I think about what?”
“I swear, it’s like talking to a rock. What do you think about going to a movie? You know, a real movie theater. We could go with Angie and Doug. See something on the big screen instead of the TV for a change. Have a night out, get some dinner. It’ll be fun.”
The last time I went to a movie it was like being in front of a jet engine. The noise hit me like a brick wall. And not just from the movie we watched, but from movies from other theaters as well. And no remote to turn down the sound. I could take out my hearing aids, but then I’d need the close captioning at the bottom, and they don’t do that on the big screen, or do they do that now? Do they have movie theaters that cater to stone deaf people? Would I be eligible for a discount rate as a handicapped person?
“Harold! Are you listening to me? What do you think? Do you want to go or not? I told Angie I’d call her back by 4:00 and it’s now 3:45.” Eleanor held the phone, waiting for my answer.
I cave in, wanting to please my social butterfly of a wife. “Sure, let’s go.”
At dinner Doug and I made some polite conversation. He’s also not a talker, so we mainly listened to our wives, or pretended to. Then off to the movie.
Angie and Eleanor sat in the middle, Doug and I at either end. I guess you could say we were protecting our ladies. Actually, it was more for quick get-aways. First Doug left for the snacks. Then I left to the restroom. Back and forth we excused ourselves. The only quiet spot was in the lobby. A few minutes every now and then during the film Doug and I escaped, as if we planned the whole routine.
After, as we walked to the car, the ladies asked what we thought of the movie. I don’t think they ever knew Doug and I hadn’t really watched the film. So I threw it back to Eleanor. She can talk the stripes off a zebra. And as I hoped, we learned about the plot, the players, the sub-plot, the resolution, the director, the costumes, the music and why we never ever want to see any movie like that ever again.
The Quiet Day came to an end at midnight. That’s when Eleanor went to bed. But before then, she talked. To herself, to the TV, to me, to the cat, to the dog, to the universe. I get a few hours of rest, until she starts talking in her sleep. I have my hearing aids on the night stand. And that’s where they’ll stay until morning.