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Raining, sunshine and birds

We were covered in pollen which coated the new patio furniture no matter how often you brushed it off. When it started raining four days ago we were relieved. Everything was now so fresh, green, cleaned off. Today was the fifth morning to wake up to gray skies. It poured last night. A huge thunderstorm. I heard the thunder, a low beepy sound that I didn’t place until my friend asked if I had heard it. I heard the rain on the roof too.

About an hour ago the sun came out. The deck chairs are soggy and dripping but the boards of the deck are already dry from the sun.

Birds. They were what I told people who insisted on knowing what I wanted to hear with my implant. Well folks, complete success here. They might be robotic birds or synthesized birds, but they are definitely birds.

I need to learn to recognize them. One is most dominant. Almost sounds like a phone ringtone.


The others are less distinct and more chirps rather than a long song.

(Edited to add:  I think it’s a mockingbird. But he’s only doing one song, so maybe it’s one of the birds that he’s mocking.)

When the wind blows I can hear rain falling from the trees. Water has the most complex sound I’ve encountered. Flushing the toilet should be something every newly activated CI patient is warned about. Picture a keyboard on an organ voice which sustains as long  as a key is pressed and then picture a child leaning across the upper half of it pressing all the keys at once.  That is the toilet flushing.

Everything is still sounding very robotic and synthetic. I’ve been reading The Count of Monte Cristo on my iPhone for several weeks and now have it on tape to listen to as I read. Sometimes my eyes wander ahead of the reader and when I realize it I will be lost momentarily. But I haven’t yet been unable to find my place.

Despite all the robots and scifi sound effects of the whole world, I can tell there is great potential. In noise, the car and even when we dined at a packed restaurant before a big concert we had forgotten, I could still distinctly hear Don’s robot beeping over the din. I
couldn’t understand him any better than I can in quiet, but I could separate him from everything else easier than I Ever have been able to with hearing aids. I hope that doesn’t change when the robots leave me for chipmunks and quacking voices.

Originally published at Sarasera. You can comment here or there.

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December 2011


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