On Hearing and Ear Hair

October 10, 2007

My wife enjoys my new gray whiskers, and is fascinated with my new ear hair; she leans in to examine these signs of age as if she were taking close-ups of insects–both delighted and repelled by biological fact. I didn’t expect this, I mean, ear hair once was not my most beguiling feature.

My little boy’s ears are smooth and hair-free for now. I listen to him march and count his steps: “Hup, two, quore, cap! Hup, two, quore, cap!” He chants just what he has heard; context provides him with no cues, no corrections. What do I hear in his little man-voice? What tumbles through the ear hair and the other growths and accretions?

I hear other voices sometimes, despite my ears’ conspiracy to keep the noise out. Just today I heard the fall wind, a boy marching, and–believe it or not–I actually heard my wife’s gaze, peering as deep into my ear as the hairs allow.

Maybe it’s true that Marvin Gaye heard it through the grapevine, but I hear it through my ear hair and all the other sounds that have taught me to hear.

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If you would like to hear this, click play on the audio player.

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3 Responses to “On Hearing and Ear Hair”

  1. Little Mary Says:

    i am so glad your wife loves your ear hair, and everything else about you. maybe one day i will have someone who will love my nose hair

  2. Dave Bonta Says:

    This was fun. The audio really forced me to slow down and listen, too.

    I guess I have ear hair too, but being single and all I rarely give it a second thought.

  3. sheepdays Says:

    LM–I’m sure there’s a nosehair lover out there just for you.

    Dave–Thanks. Really, it’s probably best not to think about one’s ear hair too much!


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