I Can’t Hear You

I was trying to explain it. But he walked into the kitchen and turned on the water. “I can’t hear you,” he called back, “the water’s running.” The truth is, he didn’t want to hear. My version of the truth didn’t fit with his ā€“ his didn’t fit with mine. We’d been arguing for months and neither of us could understand what the other was saying.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “I can’t hear you.”


Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

4 thoughts on “I Can’t Hear You”

  1. My wife was at the foot of the stage, video recording my appearance before a crowd of 14,000 who really loved their music. After being introduced, I started singing a most-familiar song and got through the first verse before the words stopped flowing. My lips, mouth, and tongue were still shaping the words I knew so well.
    She had a look that must’ve mirrored mine – panic – and silently mouthed “I can’t hear you.”

  2. There was a Broadway show called “I Can’t Hear You When The Water’s Running!” That was way back in something like 1969. It was a show that told four different funny stories. Makes me laugh just to think about how it goes in life. At a time when I thought our lives were returning to some semblance of normality after several medical incidents it seemed as if my partner and I were entering an entirely new experience. He had been as healthy as the proverbial horse. I was the one who had fought cancer on several fronts. The change came so quickly. His behavior began to change negatively. His memory was shot. His vision was seriously impaired. To top it off his hearing was going. “I can’t hear you” was all he would repeat every day all day long. Of course, there was the denial. It wasn’t his problem. It clearly was the little woman’s problem of not speaking clearly – not enunciating – not loud enough. The end result is when we require improved communication at this stage of our lives the consistent response of “I can’t hear you” combined with not taking ownership of a hearing problem has led to a severe breakdown in communication. I’m too exhausted by the end of the day dealing with it all and want to be alone. As a matter of fact when I think about it I must admit I feel very alone. I am very happy that I have my own room with my desk and computer – my connection to the outside world. Aaah, escapism is great!

  3. “I can’t hear you!”
    “Well, it’s no wonder!”
    The smoke alarm was screaming, I was trying to climb on a chair to pull the damned thing off the ceiling, and my husband was sitting in the living room, coffee in hand, watching television at a volume that rivaled the smoke alarm.

  4. She kept reclining , like some goddamn queen. On her side , elbow propping the head , hand holding an ancient bound book full of yellowed pages.
    The girl kept screaming something from the doorway . The baby on the girls hips was also howling and squirming. They seemed to be in panic.
    She regally calm, replied “I can’t hear you.”
    Then they swayed , and fled , the girls hair flying . It was then that the diva removed her earphones . The world swayed again , and something crashed on the table , hugely , noisily , sending splinters flying . The ceiling fan went berserk . Then she noticed the walls crumpling up . like an accordion , with a monstrous groan .
    Now , she realised , strangely calm , they had been screaming “Earthquake”.

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