I left my rucksack in a taxi last Saturday. Second, third maybe, time – in my life – I haven’t memorised the taxi number in case of this sort of thing. There’s about twenty CDs in the rucksack, including John Cale’s ‘The island years’ which I haven’t played yet and disks three-to-six of Miles Davis’ ‘complete On the corner sessions’. There’s my tablet PC, with all my writing backed up – and all my passwords for well, everywhere. And there’s my hearing aids. For the next three days, no upper register to my hearing. And my tinnitus has been in full bloom ever since.
Earlier on, I’d lost a ring I’ve had for years and is of great sentimental value. It turned up – in my shopping – just as I realised that the rucksack wasn’t. I’d been sitting in the taxi. The rain beating down like a maniac with a lead pipe. I tried to let go of the ring, telling myself it’s only a piece of metal. It has no numinosity. I was just about there with that when it turned up. Then I had to worry about whether there was anything incriminating anywhere in the rucksack – just in case it turned up at a police station.
I got through work Sunday and Monday, made it through to Glasgow on the Tuesday and even managed to sit through ‘Anchorman 2′, picking up pretty much all of it. And around 20:30 on ex-mess eve, the driver of the taxi rang to say he’d only found it that morning, dug through it to find my phone number and had been ringing me all day.
Within thirty minutes, I had my hearing aids back in and was back in all those little noises I can’t hear any more without electronic enhancement. Proud to be a self-repairing cyborg, me.
Those three days were difficult – not impossible – but I found myself having to ask people to repeat themselves more than usual, I found myself facing people so I could lip read them. I put out word on both Twitter and Facebook and my thanks to everyone who reposted and/or retweeted.
It was a year before, on December twenty-fourth last year, that I got my hearing aids after five-and-a-half years of my ears’ slow depreciation. Suddenly I could hear all the little noises again. The plethora of wee electrical sounds a bus makes, the detail in Miles Davis’ work. I could hear people when they weren’t even pointing directly at me, I could follow the dialogue on television, even during the reaction shots.
All of this left me in an appallingly good mood as we unwrapped the presents and pretended to thank each other. A good mood that kept going as I watched ‘Zero dark thirty’ and tried to figure out what was most annoying about it.
It’s a Christmas miracle – two years in a row. God bless us, every one.
*hearing aids, taxi, john cale, miles davis, tablet pc, writing, anchorman 2, work, facebook, twitter, christmas eve, sound,