I am cursed with the Super Hearing SuperPower.  It’s a curse because I can hear everything at any volume tone or decibel.  There is likely some irony in my “db” email sign off — in fact, several people mock me by addressing me as “dB” — not because I am loud, but because every noise at any level appears loud to me.

Having Super Hearing can be a problem as an apartment dweller in The Big City:

When you live in a building with other people, you always have to negotiate the tricksy totems of living.  Loud music, wild children, stomping feet above you, and banging on walls can quickly descend into ongoing fights and rifts that can never heal.

In my experience in apartment dwelling, I have learned that some neighbors are never worth the time it might take to ask them to temper their behavior because they are so totally unaware of how they come across in the building community; and to waste even a moment of your time trying to help them fit in is time lost when you could be out doing something useful like banging your head against a concrete wall to get them out of your mind.

Everything is loud to me and I am a quiet person.  I sleep at night with earplugs plunged into canals in a raw attempt to deafen myself.  I actually have to turn up my music to drown out the “bass thumping” from my neighbors next door.  I can hear their pounding booms even when everyone else in the room can only hear my reciprocal pounding bass.

There are some benefits to this curse.  I can track down water dripping wherever it may splash.  I can hear kittens mewing for help a block away.  I can sense musical overtones and undertones that mere mortals cannot fathom.

But mostly, Super Hearing is a curse.  Everything is noise.  Ticking second hands on clocks and wristwatches drive me insane!  When I am able to create absolute silence with my ear plugs, or by visiting the barren countryside, my ears ring a bit with the reverberation of the city crowd — which creates a whole new madding tone of its own.

Or maybe I’m just starting to get tinnitus.  I’m not sure if tinnitus would be a cure-all or a curse because the ringing in my ears would get even louder and not likely muffle all the noise still already drowning me.

8 Comments

  1. I think I have above average hearing because quite a few noises that don’t bother others really get to me, like doors closing hard, folding seats being slammed down instead of being lowered down quietly, even the lowering of a toilet seat!

    1. Yes! All those are painful annoyances. I believe you are cursed, too. Welcome to the club! SMILE!

      The worst thing about it is that we tend to “over-react” to loud noises in the company of others. Oh, if the mortals only understood!

      I find that by putting in level 36 Hearos earplugs — I have the hearing of a “normal” person. Oh, if I could only wear earplugs all day long!

  2. I find, as a rule, men will hear the lower levels of sound, and women will hear the higher end of the pitch scale. My husband will hear crunching gravel down the drive inside the house, and I will hear a stove timer beep from anywhere. (this being the unofficial results of asking acquaintances)

    I understand the ears ringing in quietness. My ears do it too. It completely disrupts the peaceful quotient. However, I always blamed it on my musical preferences as a teenager. 🙂

  3. I’ve been musing on this post ever since I read it. I’m thinking –
    Could it possibly be you are subconsciously hearing ‘more’ because your wife doesn’t? It would stand to reason in my mind. Partnership compensation. Zig for zag. Tit for tat. Ying for yang kind of thing. What do you think? What does Janna think?

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