Somehow I had sucked a virus into my system that had affected my hearing. It turned voices into a muffled mumbles way in the distance. Sounds became indistinct mysteries. To most everyone who tried speaking toward me, I said, What? a lot.
I was prescribed medicine. Bit by bit I heard the world again, until I stalled at the last 20% of my hearing. Seemed the last 20% was the most difficult to get back. Time and medication. Then, during a movie, I heard a pop and more sound suddenly was there in my ear. Later that week, there were a series of underwater notes, a clearing, and everything seemed back to normal.
But the body, being holistic, with the whole ear, throat, nose combo involved, other mysteries happened.
Because when my hearing kicks in again, my sense of smell kicks up a couple of notches.
Getting out of my car, my head shifts like a dog’s, aiming my nostrils high and slanted. It could also look like a blind person listening to a voice. I sniff.
“Leafs are burning somewhere.”
And they are, a few houses down on the opposite side of the road in someone’s back yard.
I go into a house and there’s a huge bunch of flowers and it overpowers me, a sickly scent like a decrepit person slapping on too much lotion. I have to stand by an open door to get relief.
“Someone’s cutting wood,” I say another time, walking down my street, I eventually pass an open garage where someone has recently buzz-sawed some two by fours.
The world has become wider through my nostrils; I am smelling a lot of things that other people don’t detect.
I even smell things that you aren’t supposed to to be there.
I’m next to the person who is full of love for me. She smiles benignly upon me.
I sniff her.
“What?” she asks, with only a hint of alarm.
“I smell,” I tell her, “I smell something on you.”
I sniff. “Love.” I smell her ear. “I smell love on you.”
I smell her throat, bury my nose in her hair, sniffing like a dog wild on the trail of a favorite prey.
She giggles and her love fills my nasal passages, until my insides become like a series of mini-waves, creating the kind of ripples that happen in the middle of a wide lake right after you have thrown your heart in.