I am slightly hard of hearing, partially deaf, especially when it comes to the voices of some people. Soft voiced people I have to do the best I can with and when they are in movies it is hopeless. I play subtitles when I watch movies alone, and when there are others watching I try to talk them into turning the subtitles on, too. Theaters are sometimes loud enough but I miss enough to get aggravated sometimes, too. A lot of my hearing loss comes from far too much rock and roll up far too loud for far too long. Some of it comes from working around heavy machinery before hearing protection was required. Some of it stems from the fact that I’m pretty much disconnected from the same reality as everyone else, and some of it comes from me simply not giving a damn what other people are saying. I waited for a while, to hear if they did, but they didn’t have anything to say for so long.
I hear things that are not there. I know they are not there because the mutts do not react to the sounds I think I hear. Trust me, dogs don’t have off days or days off when it comes to audio. I could pretend they are just ignoring the sound because it isn’t important but I’ve lived with two of these dogs for a decade now, and I know when they’ve heard something. Having three dogs acting as listening posts isn’t a bad way to go at all. I mean, who gives a damn what it is exactly until you check it out, right? Lucas still hasn’t learned what’s important and what isn’t but he is getting there. Sam likes to bark at things he can see, but when Bert lays it down there is a human being close to the house. I’ll pick up a gun in the dark before I can see if Bert tells me to. If that animal hammers down on his most impressive bark, and it is impressive, I better be armed, and whoever he’s barking at, who no longer believes that stealth exists, better have good intentions.
Mostly I hear things in the wind. I tell people this and they nod as if I interpret the sound differently in some way, or perhaps I’m insane, but I can hear things in the wind I do not think others hear. There is a low volume song, with voices and instruments that plays when the wind blows hard, particularly when it blows through something, like wires or branches, or the screens of the windows when the wind really picks up. This didn’t happen before I was a writer. I never heard the song before I started writing. If you think you can spend three or four hours a day inventing worlds that have to make sense, then return to your own intact, you are delusional. You have to leave part of who you are in there and you have to bring some of it back with you. It’s like going to visit a friend. When you get home your dogs will snuffle you because they can tell where you’ve been by scent. In your mind, the incense that is writing will still waft through your consciousness, even if you cannot tell it is there.
Of course, I was a very odd child. I had a collection of plastic and rubber creatures, monsters all, or at least fearsome animals, and they were by circle of friends, my playmates, and there were all sorts of things that happened, which usually involved some poor group of humans being served for lunch. Alas! My mother did not like any of this for some odd reason, and both my parents tried giving me more grown up activities to occupy my mind, and even as a small child I realized the days I would have to spend by my monster friends would be numbered. I would promise them over and over that I would not forget them when I grew up, and that I would hide them somewhere, and no one would know they had followed me around my travels as I was an astronaut, or the first man to walk on the sun, or president, but it did happen, and their voices did fall silent, and I did not hear them anymore at all. All my plastic dinosaurs, monsters, army men, and rubber horrors became mute, and still. Hidden away in some dark corner for decades now, perhaps it is their voices I hear in the wind.
I’m postulating the ghost of toys, you do realize that don’t you? I’m telling you that the inanimate objects I kept when I was a child instead of making friends with humans haunt me now, and perhaps it is they who are calling to me in the wind, and yes, that is what I am saying in a way. The same imagination is alive. The same sense of the creative still lives and that which gave names and personality traits to a bug eyed monster with tentacles and an insect type larvae body with odd seaweed looking seaweed type growths on his body might still be lurking somewhere. Oh, and this creature’s seaweed type stuff gave up an electrical charge that glowed red, like the setting or rising sun. He was forever tricking ships into the reefs by screwing around with where they thought they were.
Ah, the old monsters calling me back, the new ones yet discovered, and me in between the two, or three worlds, wondering what that sound might be. I’ve left that part of my past which invents stories for creatures made of plastic and wood and rubber for those made of text, and electronic signals, and words and paragraphs. I’ve forsaken those creatures who life in a toy box for those who live in a box made of chips and wires and lights. I hear the voices in the wind and now I have no idea if they are old ghosts or the new ones.