When I was a kid, I got awful ear infections. The crippling kind that leave you (meaning “me”) rolling back and forth in bed screaming and shrieking like a lunatic with a bullet in his belly. It hurt so bad that I’d get bored of screaming, but couldn’t stop. So they were pretty bad. Now, after bad colds (like the one I just came out of, called “February”), I get this thing where I can’t hear anything in one ear. It’s a kind of obnoxious pressure, like there’s a pencil eraser stuck up against my ear drum. It’s a distinct sensation, a kind of vibrating ache, that is forever linked with those lousy ear infections in my memory.

Without getting into anything gross, I can flush the place out, but it doesn’t do much. I have to wait it out. In the meantime, my ear hurts and I’m all but deaf to one side. I spend days like today piecing sentences together from the vowels I can make out. It’s a frightening disconnect between the physical world, which can get right in my face, and the audible world, which sounds like it’s on the other side of thick glass. So, the people I stand in line with at the check-out counter, for example, sound far away, but appear right behind me with no warning. It puts me on edge. I can sort of hear folks, but not really.

Recent emails suggest that not all of you are able to make out the old Haloscan comment links at the bottom of these posts. Meanwhile, others can, on multiple platforms and multiple different machines. Strange. To test both the operational quality of this option and the limits of your interest in my self-indulgent tomfoolery, I’ve turned on the commenting feature that’s indigenous to the current Blogger software. (I’ve tweaked with the RSS feed on the site, but just a skosh.) Right now, anybody can comment, but when I tire of being hit with beer cans and misspelled pharmaceutical ads from the bleachers I may switch it so that only registered Blogger-types can do it. Please let me know how Blogger’s commenting sub-app works out for you by, you know, using it.

So, in conclusion: I’m only catching some of what you’re saying. Could you please repeat it?

Noise: Gorillaz, “Dirty Harry”

Update: Do you get the blog via an RSS newsreader? Are you getting line breaks or not? Tonight’s fiddlings suggest some posts do and some posts don’t. I’m not sure why that is.