Saturday, July 19, 2008

Looming Silence

Janice Turner is losing her hearing.

These days I find it harder to catch dialogue on television. Voices are muffled, broken, a sonic blur, and I have to turn to my husband and ask “Is it me or the TV?” because, in particular, makers of the edgier American shows and movies - The Sopranos, The Wire, Miami Vice - seem to regard dismal sound quality as a cool aesthetic decision; an auditory Impressionism.

Mostly, though, I know it is me, stepping on to the top rung of a slow descent into silence. Deafness is my genetic inheritance, along with a short temper and long legs.

My dad was born blind in one eye and yet this incapacity did not stop him being a capable bowler, a crack shot with a rifle in the Home Guard or prevent him from driving, even now aged 85.......It is the deafness that has done for him, locked away his gregarious character, turned his entire life into a table for one.

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