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  • Writer's pictureunkillbilly

In Your Ear

Have I mentioned…I hear music?

"Yeah, so who doesn't, man."

Right, I get that. But here's the thing—I hear music constantly.


I don't have to have a source. There is always something—a snatch of some song, whether from a real band/performer or some ditty I'm makin' up on the fly—there is always music. Playing.

I'm pretty sure this is abbie normal.

I mean, constantly? If I don't have YouTube or Spotify going…I'm creating. Every kind of music you could imagine, well, there's only two kinds of music I don't like: Country and western.

And opera. Three! Kinds of music. Country and western and opera. That's it. Just those three. Plus, bluegrass. FOUR! Four kinds…

Ah, those whacky Brits.

Back to the music in my head. It has recently, (and when I say recently, I mean in the last year and a half) taken on an additional dimension—I've started humming. Yeah, that's not right. Now I'm constantly humming, out loud, in my little off-key vocalization. I try to catch myself around others. I mean, people will definitely think your deranged if you hum constantly.

(Incidentally, I discovered my shrink hums, too. Which only means the guy is as abbie normal as I am!)

The stuff I hum is a variety of styles, and it's always improvisational. I hear parts of songs where lyrics would go, without actually hearing the words themselves. Depending on the song, I can hear multiple instruments.

On the one hand, I find the constant music soothing. I have progressively worsening tinnitus, and the music can drown that out, if I let it. On the other hand, this must mean something. Is there such a thing as an aural cripple?

One plus, the tiniest thread of silver lining—I don't have to carry anything to produce the music. Don't need four-hundred-dollar ear buds. Or Bose headphones. No player to fumble with and fail. It's all coming straight from my mal-adjusted neocortex. When I'm on the bike, I can listen to all kinds of music and not have to worry about missing in audible signals related to safety. (I can hear the tires of another cyclist overtaking me while simultaneously listening to Cracker, "Let's Get Off This") You spend as much time as I do on a bicycle, you learn to recognize the auditory cues coming from the environment.

I think my internal radio adds another dimension to the experience of heard music. That is, the stuff comin' off YouTube or Spotify. It has, perhaps, a greater depth. Like the difference between hearing music coming from a recording to the same song done live. (I'm never bothered by a band performing their sound verbatim to the recording in their live show.)

I wonder if the 'problem' is nurture or nature? Right? See, from my earliest memories I recall music. My mom used to sing to us, and then after she bought a stereo, I began to collect albums. Mom would play music to wake us up every day! The music would flow into my sleeping brain, find the appropriate receptors and bring me up to consciousness.

I would think that after a while, that wake-up music would have a certain 'programing effect'. Right? I mean, Pavlov got a dog to salivate over a sound. Humans have hella incredible eyes and I think we tend to think in terms of visual stimulation and recollection.


When it comes to music…the aural remembrance is more directly connected to my emotions. I can see things matter-of-factly but hearing moves me. The attachment is more emotional with music. You prolly know what I'm talking about. That one song that reminds you of her/him…

Right this moment I'm listening to music produced by a recording. Slipknot, "Subliminal Verses".

"Now it's over…"

Ah, but it's not. It's never over. The never-ending concert. Most of the time, blasting. At full volume. The soundtrack of my life.

And finally, I find myself wondering: can I get one of those Handicapped parking stickers for this?

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