I think pat made me partially deaf in one ear. I’m not even joking. On Friday, he made this horrifically loud kissing/Suck noise right over my ear, I’m talking concert level point blank IN MY EAR and I googled all this crap about temporary hearing loss called “threshold shifts” and if it’s been longer than 48 hours and your hearing still isn’t totally restored, then it might be permanent. Well, it’s been longer than 48 hours and my right ear still feels like it’s clogged full of water and it’s throwing my entire equilibrium off because now my other ear is trying to compensate and I don’t know which one is right anymore. God, almighty, if this man made me deaf after 10 years of being together, I don’t know, I guess that means I have a legitimate excuse to never have to listen to him again?

I suppose it’s time for a doctor. I’m all to familiar with ear doctors, I have a traumatic history with chronic ear infections and surgeries and these marbled tie-dye balloons they would give me when I left and Highlight magazine in the waiting room where the puzzles were always always filled in before I got to them.
In recent years, I’ve even had doctors look inside them and gasp at the scar tissue, saying “Did you have TUBES?!”
Yes, thank you. I did. I even have the scar above my left ear where they sliced off a part of my skin and made a human band-aid over the hole that wouldn’t heal when they took the tube out.
It’s funny, I remember that surgery and how we were driving an hour away to Napa where my ear doctor was, I think it was 4th grade, and I saw a white dove on the side of the road and that was my sign I was going to make it. I remember how poetic it felt to me then. So dramatic! I’m sure it was a pigeon of some sort, a plastic bag flapping against car backdraft. It was the first time I can remember going totally under. They gave me bubblegum anesthesia. Nasty, nasty stuff. It smelled like gasoline and cotton candy. Poison. To this day, there are certain kinds of bubble gum I can’t chew.
They took a picture of me after I got out of surgery. Who does that?! I was holding my stuffed otter, aptly named Ottie and they dressed him up like a surgeon with booties, mask and all. I was in a wheel chair with a giant bowling ball bandage protruding from my head, red face drooping. A friend saw the picture a few year later and said what a great Halloween costume it was and started laughing. “That’s real, dick! I just had surgery!” I wonder if my mom still has that picture? I bet she does somewhere.

It’s not a full-on deafness. I can still hear, but everything is muffled. White noise is magnified. Half my head feels underwater. I’m hoping I need a little more time, that 48 hours just wasn’t quite enough for me. Maybe my ears are embarrassingly full of wax? God dammit. The things love does to us.

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