I sit in total darkness in my living room at 2:30 in the morning. The bubbles in my Perrier burst into the air and catch the light of power indicators, digital clocks, and game consoles. I rarely get the chance to sit in the quiet anymore.
It’s not completely silent. There’s a gentle hum about the room, a louder whir from the fridge over yonder, and the dwindling bubbles fizz and pop in my glass. I’m generally a fan of white noise, but I can’t enjoy it for long. I inevitably focus in on my tinnitus. The shrill squealing seems to grow louder.
I fetch a bottle of hydrogen peroxide from beneath the bathroom sink. I look forward to these moments; It’s like scratching an itch that I can’t otherwise reach. Back on the couch, I use a syringe to drop a small amount of the solution into my ear canal, then lie on my side and let it do its work.
It’s a great feeling. It bubbles violently in my head and warms the right side of my face. I watch the glass of Perrier in front of me and imagine it as a sexy, high-tech, robotic ear canal being treated for an impacted wax plug. But it would have to be a kind of robot wax, like a thicker viscosity of oil.
I turn over to drain my ear. It feels warm coming out, like my ear is peeing, and the amount expelled always feels as if it’s so much more than what I put in. I walk to the trash can to throw away the Kleenex I’d held to my ear, knowingly leaning to the side to correct against the vertigo.
I return to my Perrier and imagine that I’m drinking from a robot’s ear canal. Smiling makes me dizzier, but I sit down feeling quite relaxed.