June 20, 2018


From The Novelist Portent by Johnny E. Mahaffey (author's profile)


Johnny E. Mahaffey
4460 Broad River Rd.
Columbia, SC 29210-4012

477 words




Noise for me used to be the whining rants of unsatisfied people, losers not content with their lot, and too fucking lazy to do anything about it. It was never a decibel thing for me, noise.
Besides, I have a constant ringing in my left ear due to some childhood trauma anyway, so it's not like I could ever reach some Zen quiet. I could see myself trying it though, sitting there on the side of some mountain--the echo of an inner ringing driving me apeshit, because it's the only audible thing discerned from my locale--a reminent marking of damage caused by 1980s stereo speakers, and their Bon Jovi driven attack upon my growing flesh. Thanks Dad. Thanks Mom.
It's something car companies should consider, putting an app into the stereo that allows the driver (the responsible parent) to turn off a certain speaker, placed, say, inches from a youthful ear (especially an infant or toddler); and the system would make an acceptable auditory reshuffling to compensate. Then perhaps people like me could hear mountain wind, just a little better; maybe even the approach of that playful mountain goat, about to push us over the edge.
There are times, however, when I hear that irritant voice--I want to put my head (or theirs) between two of those giant Back to the Future style speakers, and crank the amp to 11. But alas, none of the corrupt prosecutorial attorneys, or officers I know, would fall for that. Well, one might; you never know. Tell them there's a toilet that needs fixin', and they'll step right in--no mountain goat needed.
The ringing has about as much of a chance of going away as the whining does. If there's one thing we can count on the most, out of nearly everyone: it's a complaint. They're not going anywhere, ever. Complaints drive progress, if we humans were content beings there'd be no "Original Sin." Nor would we have science, technology, engineering, or mathematics--we'd be running around out in a field somewhere (not that many of us) playing with sticks and listening to our ears ring. Not riding around with our offspring in pretend sports cars, blasting the noise of youth attempting to hold on to it; while simultaneously damaging theirs!
I saw once on a science show, a claim that those of us annoyed by noises such as snoring or scratching, some idiot bouncing a basketball inside, things like that--or maybe a sports wannabe that yells and rants at a televised game in a city he's never been (or will be); all share a possibility: that we may be annoyed, because we're geniuses. If that's true, I must be the smartest person on the planet.


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