The Buzzing

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There is a play by Beckett that my peers loathed and I adored when we studied it in university, strewn about the lecture hall like autumn leaves. It is called Not I.

There is a ringing in my ears. It is there all the time. I cannot wear ear plugs, because then all I hear is the ringing. It’s a high-pitched whine; it’s the nano-screaming of electronics in distress.

Electronic whines drive me nuts. When I hear one, I must hunt it down at its source, eradicate it. I cannot sleep with electronic whines. I cannot concentrate. I cannot calm.

My cell phone charger whines when it is plugged in and the phone is not, and it whines again when the phone is fully charged. My fiance is oft woken up to hear me viciously ripping the plug out of the wall and stashing the phone and its cord elsewhere, often while I am still more than half asleep.

The high-pitched electronic whine, that constant buzzing, is a source of anxiety. Anxiety? Is that the right word? Yes. Surely insanity as well. My fiance snores; his log-sawing rivals the cry of a mountain as it collapses on itself in avalanche. I tried ear plugs one night. I stood them for not even 5 minutes before I clawed at my ears, tearing out the wax and flinging it as hard as I could. My breath came hard and short and I felt as if I’d just escaped a predator.

So now we work out an uneasy truce, where I choose not to bug him on the nights he really needs sleep, and he chooses to wait to doze off until I am asleep on the nights I need my rest. The whining, the buzzing in my ears prevents a peaceful resolution to the snoring war.

There is no such thing as silence for me. I yearn for quiet but even in my resting times, I must play music, I must turn on the fan, I must have some sort of white noise — not too loud, just enough to drown out the buzzing, the whining in my ears.

Just enough so I am not driven mad by the sound of myself.


Daily Prompt: A source of anxiety.

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