McGan's Meditations
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McGan's Meditations
Voices from Beyond

They say that one of the first things to go is your hearing. Do you ever hear far off, vaguely familiar voices, barely audible, but you know they're speaking to you? It's almost like voices that are trying to communicate from the great beyond.

I hear them all the time, usually from the opposite end of the house from where I am, often drowned out by blaring punk rock music. "Dad? Can I -" here it trails off.

"Dad? Where are you?" I love that one. Why don't you get up and find out? It's not like I'm hiding in the linen closet. Sometimes you want to pretend you don't hear the voices, because they will make you uncomfortable by asking something of you, probably something involving your car or a monetary donation. Eventually they find you.  

Voice from beyond: "Dad? - - - - borrow - - - - dollars for - - - - ?".
Me: "What?"
Voice from beyond: "What? Where are you?"
Me: "I can't hear you. Turn the music down."
Voice from beyond: "What?"
Me: "Come out here, would you?"
Voice from beyond: (Stomp stomp stomp, and more stomping from the inconvenienced one until I am located and treated as if I am old, deaf and/or mentally challenged) "I said..."

My wife is a different story. She likes to start telling me something as she walks down the hall or up the staircase. I can barely hear her voice as she goes into great detail about some topic. She stays right with it and eventually returns in full stride to where I am located, and looks to me for a response. It isn't my fault that I have no idea what she's been talking about. Maybe my hearing isn't what it used to be, but why do people make it nearly impossible to make out what they're saying? "I don't know," I'll say, shaking my head as if I'm trying to make sense of it all, "That's really something." This usually works. With her next couple of statements I can piece together what I missed and figure it all out, while appearing to be very attentive.

There is no shame in this, especially as you get older and can act confused. It is totally unlike when someone is talking to you and although they don't move, their voice starts getting fainter as your mind drifts off, wondering who was inside that Godzilla suit for all those movies. It must have been extremely hot in there. Was he mentioned in the credits, you wonder? "I never noticed," you say to yourself.

If you ever find yourself in this awkward situation, feeling quite guilty, just respond "I don't know," shaking your head as if you're trying to make sense of it all, "That's really something."

Michael McGan - 26th November 2007

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