I have superhuman hearing. No. I do not have a bionic ear or fly around town in spandex. Although, that would be cool! In my world, superhuman hearing means that I have freakishly amazing hearing skills. When I was seven, I complained to my mom about a weird ringing in my ears. Since we lived in Burns Lake, we had to travel to Vancouver to see a specialist, given our one town doctor was not able to see patients for a month because of “the incident”. One twelve hour road trip later and my parents and I were in Vancouver to meet an “ear doctor” named Dr. Stanley.
After a series of tests that involved dog whistles, air movement and feather bouncing, Dr. Stanley pronounced to my mom that I had superus humaneous hearingous or in layman’s language superhuman hearing. My mom argued with Dr. Stanley, stating that this was impossible given that she felt I hadn’t ever heard a word she had said. After listening to my mom for twenty minutes, Dr. Stanley explained to her the concept of selective listening and told her that he had been using it for the past 19 minutes. The ringing in my ears turned out to be the sound of my own blood flowing through my veins. Strange and mind blowing. It is best not to think about it too much.
To be honest, finding out that I had superhuman hearing was okay, but I would have preferred to have the usual female super power of invisibility, good hair or big boobs. Back in Burns Lake, my newfound super skill did nothing to endear me to my classmates. When my grade four teacher, Mrs. Carlton, demanded to know what Robert and Alex were whispering during class, I perhaps should not have answered, “Mrs. Carlton, Robert says that your pants make you look like a hippopotamus and Alex whispered back that you looked more like a saggy bottomed hippopotamus” It was during my time in detention (Robert and Alex got in trouble for being disrespectful and I got in trouble for being disrespectful by proxy) that I learned the importance of listening rather than talking. That is when it all began. From grade four on, I began to use my power for evil and not for good. I became an eavesdropper.
My eavesdropping habit took hold quickly. I found myself dropping in and out of other people’s lives on a regular basis…on streets, in coffee shops, in stores – anywhere people were chatting, I was listening. And, boy, did I listen. Some juicy overheard snippets:
Come on! I don’t think he is cheating on you. He loves you. I am sure of it. He just vacations alone in Mexico so he can appreciate you more when he gets back. Did I tell you I just got back from Mexico?
So, I told the guy %&#@ you and your %&#@ing dog. I don’t %&#@ing come over and crap on your%&#@ing lawn. Don’t %&#@ing crap on mine you %&#@piece of %&#@.
Today, I had the best waxing.
Honestly, have you seen Cheryl’s baby. No. Seriously. It is the ugliest baby I have ever seen. I didn’t want to say anything but it must have had a rough journey out of the birth canal. The face looks like it was hit with a frying pan.
Oh my God. Steve came in and saw me going through his desk and he totally freaked out. He called me a sneak and a thief. Can you believe it? Who the hell does he think he is anyway? I told him how dare he accuse me of such a thing. I went straight to HR and told them that I thought Steve was manipulative and a trouble maker. For that, I got a letter of reprimand in my file. I hate that guy.
I’ve got a buddy that can totally hook you up. Putting a grow op in your house isn’t that hard. I am not sure what you can say to your parents though. Maybe you can tell them it is a big science experiment.
So, I was eating the nutella waffle and bit into something. I thought it was a bad nut or something. But it was a ring! Then he got down on his knees in the middle of IHOP and asked me to marry him. Can you believe it?
Lately, however, my ears have not been bringing me the joy that they once have. Perhaps, I am growing tired of listening and not talking. Perhaps it is because people are spending more time talking to each other on computers rather than in person. Perhaps it is because conversations are seemingly more serious in public than they used to be. The latter is especially hard – it can be difficult to focus on a movie, a dinner out or a baptism when hearing sad news or a mean spirited exchange. It seems like the world has turned from snippets of Entertainment Tonight to snippets of CBC’s W5. Sigh. As of late, I am trying to block out other people’s gossip, afraid of recreating a Miss Brill moment in my life….but it’s hard. If only people weren’t so interesting…..and so entertaining…and if only I didn’t listen so well. So remember….when you are having a conversation in Blenz and you think no one can hear you, check to see if I am there. If I am, make it juicy.