The Sound of Silence

Max pushed the sides of the pillow over his ears, hoping to stop the constant, annoying ringing he was experiencing in both ears. He knew that trying to silence the ringing by pressing the pillow over his ears would do no good. The sound was coming from inside of his head and he was the only one who could hear it. But he just wanted it to stop.

Max used to be able to ignore it when he first experienced the ringing noise in his ears called tinnitus. It would only enter his consciousness when he thought about it. Or when it was very, very quiet where he was. Or when he didn’t get much sleep and was tired.

But lately the noise was constant and almost unbearable. Max went to see his doctor, who referred him to an otolaryngologist, who referred him to a neurologist. But each patiently explained to Max that there was nothing they could do about it, there is no known cure, and he’d just have to learn to live with it.

He thought back to all of the many loud rock concerts he attended in his twenties and thirties. No one ever warned him that frequent exposure to sounds of that volume could potentially lead to tinnitus. He cursed his stupidity for not wearing ear plugs at those concerts.

Max sighed, turned on his side and thought how he would make a deal with the devil if only he could experience just one silent night.

Written for E.M. Kingston’s Weekly Word prompt, where the prompt is “silent night.”

26 thoughts on “The Sound of Silence

  1. newepicauthor December 27, 2022 / 7:23 pm

    I feel so bad for you Fandango having to put up with that constant ringing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadje December 27, 2022 / 7:29 pm

    I think this is how you feel at times. I’m sorry that it doesn’t have a cure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 27, 2022 / 11:17 pm

      Hmm? What did you say? I can’t hear you over this ringing in my ears.


        • Fandango December 28, 2022 / 8:48 am

          High pitched, like an electronic tone.


          • donmatthewspoetry December 28, 2022 / 4:05 pm

            Yes, I read there are various types. You can listen to them too on the internet…….interesting, but debilitating for a sufferer

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango December 28, 2022 / 4:09 pm

              To me it’s more annoying than debilitating. But all you can do is learn to live with it.


            • donmatthewspoetry December 28, 2022 / 4:14 pm

              Yes, annoying. You know how the brain can switch off outside noise can it switch off the tinnitus sound in like manner?………..or is it there permanently? Can you ‘overide’ it? I don’t have this issue so all new to me………

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango December 28, 2022 / 5:00 pm

              No overriding it, no switching it off. The only time it’s “gone” is when I’m asleep. In my dreams I don’t have it.


  3. bushboy December 28, 2022 / 1:11 am

    Same. plus working in a factory and then on my place and machinery. Didn’t wear ear protection until it was too late I guess

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 28, 2022 / 12:59 pm

      I’ve tried everything. Nothing has worked. 🙁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. cagedunn December 28, 2022 / 2:53 pm

    I call my version Tubular Bells. The louder ones can wake me from a deep sleep.
    However, I did an exercise for a while and the sounds decreased – and now I can’t find the instructions. Something along the lines of focussing intently on the noise to the point that it becomes ‘background’ rather than an annoyance. As I live on a busy road, this backgrounding felt easy enough as I often don’t notice the traffic sounds now (even the ambulances screaming past seem to fade to insignificance. The exercises had the end goal being habituation … I’ll have to search out those instructions again, I think, now what was it called … some sort of retraining therapy … not quite white noise therapy, but …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 28, 2022 / 4:04 pm

      I’ve tried that technique of focusing on the noise. Didn’t work for me. But I do have a white noise machine next to my bed and that helps a little at night.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marilyn Armstrong December 28, 2022 / 7:51 pm

    My ears HISSSSS all the time. And you are absolutely right: there’s nothing you can do about it, but boy is it annoying!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 28, 2022 / 10:42 pm

      So, so annoying!


      • Marilyn Armstrong December 29, 2022 / 7:55 pm

        Sometimes it is MUCH louder than other times, but it’s pretty much always there. Hissing hissssss!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango December 29, 2022 / 10:19 pm

          Yes, it never goes away.


  6. E.M. Kingston January 10, 2023 / 12:11 am

    My mom used to have a hard time dealing with tinnitus. I can imagine it’s not very fun at all. Poor Max!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.