A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”

One of the advantages of being both hard-of-hearing and slightly daffy is the luxury of nattering away to oneself when there’s no one else within earshot. I spend the majority of my time alone, which suits me just fine. Why I should I impose my egregious opinions on others, who neither deserve nor appreciate them, when I can fine-tune them to my own satisfaction with no fear of contradiction?

I, on the other hand, am at the beck and call of my Geezerly bladder. Without fail, the fifth summons of the night (sometime around 5:30 a.m.) convinces me it’s time to check my plants and get on with the daily task of muttering to myself. Coffee and porridge often suffice, although a bagel and schmear also work. The overnight news can launch me into paroxysms of outrage and vituperation. Before Herself even emerges, I can be in a righteous lather about the unfairness of it all.

Time was, in the early days of marital bliss, I would chirrup away, long past normal sleepy-time, cracking stupid jokes and sharing ridiculous observations about the insanity of all human enterprise. We called it babbling, and I was the champ. Now, alas, she prefers to cherish the few hours of sleep life affords to genuinely creative souls each night, which leaves me burbling to myself in the dark, in the light, or in the gloom between. But that’s OK. My plants indulge me. They render no judgment – although, from time to time, I sense the odd chuckle from a cheeky cilantro, or an indulgent groan from a long-suffering pot of rosemary, sage, parsley, or thyme.

But communication is a two-way thing. If I told you my plants chatter back, you’d be justified in summoning the butterfly-net brigade. So, let’s dispel that myth at once. My precious plants may smile and wave under their cheery full-spectrum lights, but they utter nary a sound.

Herself, on the other hand, still attempts to penetrate the veil.
“I’ve made dessert. I left you some,” she may say.

“Amy’s a flirt. Her Dad’s a bum,” I hear.
“Thank you. That’s awfully kind. Did you know an armadillo can travel as much as 30 miles an hour?”

“It’s in a pan on the stove. Help yourself.”

“Murmel, Murmel, Murmel,” I reply.

It all works out, somehow.

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