Day 1: “I hate the way Maury sounds.”
At 12:00 am last night I entered into what was destined to become one of the most intriguing (and maybe a little idiotic) ideas I’ve ever suggested. I promised all of facebook and my roommate that I was going to go on an “iFast” in which I abstained from using my phone, personal twitter account, and facebook for the next week. After the initial laughter subsided an overwhelming and general reaction of annoyance and confusion emerged. The amount of “What the hell, this isn’t cute” text messages that followed were equally unsettling. But, as the sun begins to set on day 1 I could not stand more firmly by my declaration of electronic abstinence and here’s why…
I had several “best friends” in elementary school. In fact, I think I went through 12 in the 8 months of schooling that was the third grade–but few of these bff’s were as outstanding as freckle-faced Hannah. Freckle-faced Hannah had long blonde hair and a toe touch I would kill for. We cheered for the same squad for two years and played soccer together for four years. Our mothers were on the PTA together and our fathers would barbeque on Sundays as though they were long-lost brothers. For the most part our families were carbon copies of each other, and our lives just seem to fit.
Everything except for Eli.
Eli was Hannah’s spunky and super inquisitive younger brother. He would hide whenever Daisy’s from our Girl Scouts troop would sleepover and wave at me from time to time. He would also write me LOTS of letters about all kinds of things and, on occasion, gesture for me to come watch “Zoom” with him after school but, I almost never heard him speak.
Turns out Eli was deaf. My parents held this conversation with me about Eli around the same time Hannah’s parents talked to her about Ramadan–but that’s another story. This is the story about the day I went to Hannah’s house and everyone was in tears.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Hannah gripped my hand super tight and instructed me that her family was in a “fragile” place. I whispered, “is everything ok?,” concerned that I may have been unintentionally involved in making what appeared to be a bad situation worse. Hannah looked at me with her huge almond shaped eyes and explained that today was the day Eli would hear.
I couldn’t have been older than 11 and was completely naive on the process of regaining hearing after years of being deaf and what a monumental moment this was for their family. In summary, I was annoyed and frustrated with Hannah so I threw down her hand exclaiming, “that (Eli getting an implant) is a good thing, duh!”–my vocabulary was clearly as sophisticated as I was at 11 years old. Her mother (and perhaps the whole block) heard the less than satisfactory job we were doing in attempting to whisper on the staircase. We were on the staircase in an equally failed attempt to hide so we could get a closer look at the process of Eli gaining hearing. Hannah’s mom stormed towards the staircase and grabbed us both by our ears.
She took us into Eli’s room where he sat in a corner clawing at the implant and begging to take it out. “I HATE THE WAY MAURY SOUNDS!..I HATE IT..I HATE IT..I HATE IT!!” is all he kept repeating. With each screeching plea my heart sank lower and lower, shocked and a little afraid. Sensing my confusion Hannah went to hold my hand again and said, “He means morning. He hates the way morning sounds.”
Morning.– It’s a sound I never really considered.
The landscapers lawn mowers must’ve been like being in a giant garbage disposal, the birds chirping must’ve felt like piercing needles pressed into his ear drums and I could only imagine what Hannah and I’s creaking on the staircase felt like. It was in that moment that I realized, we were “morning” and we were painful.
This weekend I experienced my own version of “Maury.”
I woke up Saturday and felt overwhelmed, overstimulated, and generally ill-prepared for the future. I tried pinpointing when someone metaphorically turned on my implant when I wasn’t ready but, I couldn’t seem to figure it out. I went about my day as usual and nothing superbly out of the ordinary happened but, ‘morning’ seemed to be getting louder and louder.
So then Sunday morning happened. I had hoped to wake up and experience life as it is but, was instead greeted by an obnoxiously vibrant alarm, an equally obnoxiously vibrant roommates’ alarm, apartment maintenance staff vacuuming, dump truck backing up, 12 text messages and 25 snapchats all before 6 am.
I was like Eli. I just wanted for morning to stop.
So last night, before I said my final prayers, I reached over and turned ‘morning’ off.