I was out for a powerwalk last week and I was having trouble keeping my left wireless earbud in my ear. I don't know if anyone else has this same issue but it is frustrating as hell. I am sure I look completely deranged to my neighbors as I bang on my head or pick at my ear under the shield of my black hoodie while walking at an uncomfortable slow run and cursing up a storm.
I'm pretty sure the reason I can't keep that tiny piece of electronic magic snuggled tightly into my sound hole is because of a surgery I had when I was a little girl. You see, I was completely deaf in that ear until they built a whole new ear drum for me using a piece of my own skin. They essentially had to sever my ear to get to it and used my flesh upon my flesh to get it working again. I am part Frankenstein's Monster, part bionic woman. I hope the visual is as disturbing to you as the memory is for me.
You see, the surgery itself wasn't so horrifying, with the exception of my butt peaking through my gaping hospital gown. How embarrassing, even to a seven year old little girl. It wasn't the vertigo or the feeling that I had a hundred pound bandage stuck to the side of my head while healing that was quite so scary. It wasn't even the fate of being held down in the doctor's office a year later so he could extract the final piece of hardened, blood soaked gauze that had lodged itself firmly in the depths of my ear canal that left me with lasting terror.
No. The real horror was just after the surgery while I was at home healing.
My parents both worked so my Granny stayed with us to take care of me until I returned to school. I was a precocious child and prone to keeping to myself. I awoke one morning before she had and I turned on the television, ready for some cereal and cartoons. As I patiently waited for the news to end and for the colorful, zany antics of 2D animation to begin, I heard something that stopped my heart short.
The newsman, with his impossibly neat brown hair, perfect tie and snappy sport coat, announced something that filled me with a dread I could not shake for many years.
"Today the world was supposed to end."
He said it so matter-of-factly, so seriously, so bluntly, that I was immediately filled with an impending sense of doom.
That one statement sent me spiraling into a anxiety vortex where I swirled in an unending abyss of fret. I don't recall what he said after that statement. I probably couldn't hear him, either because of the giant wad of gauze or from the internal chaos that commenced at once.
You see, not too long after that, my parents split for good and we moved to Kentucky.
The pains of divorce and being the child of one are hard enough but add to that a very real sense that the sky was going to fall and you now have yourself the world's most anxious child.
I was convinced that we were all going to perish at any given moment and I lamented that my whole family could not be together, to hold hands in a circle, when it happened.
I didn't even know about the second coming of Christ yet either but I reckon both scenarios look quite the same. My imagination was filled with a scene of complete bedlam surrounded by smoke and fire, much like the day of judgement has been portrayed.
I constantly tried to devise ways to ensure that we could all be together for the end. It was gut wrenching to know that I had no way of making sure that everyone was safe or that everyone was together. It wasn't until I reached the double digits that those horrible visions ceased and that I began to understand that the newsman was probably talking about another end of days movement, much like Y2K or the Mayan Calendar.
I think often of the things that can ruin a person's day and how sometimes, the smallest of things can seem so monumental in times of duress or irritability.
I think I need to reign in my frustration with my first world problem of an ill-fitting piece of ear rubber.
After all, it's not really the end of the world.