About a month ago, shortly after my annual physical, I was sitting in the quiet between the ending of the daily conference calls and dinner, and I noticed a sound in my ears like the hissing of a cassette after the music has ended before the magnetic tape runs out, or the hum of a speaker waiting for an electric guitar. And now the only time I don’t notice it is when my attention is focused elsewhere or there’s a louder noise.

It’s become the background radiation of my universe. I suppose the noise is not just a hazard, like unsolicited mailings from the AARP, of turning 50, and I should see a specialist about this. So far the only apparent damage has been to the quiet. This one goes to 11.

I’ve spent today and yesterday in chores, with a pleasant interlude of conversation with a good friend. After lunch today and the folding of the vast bulk of laundry I quite suddenly wanted nothing more to do with chores though I still in my head had great plans of making beds and putting away clothes, so I’ve sat for the past while and read some. I hear the remaining piles growing tirelessly in my concentrated rest.

Or maybe that’s my tinnitus.