On June 4, I was getting ready to go to my follow up appointment with my doctor when I realized that the hearing aid on my left ear was missing. The hearing aid is lightweight and can easily slip out without my realizing it. I usually don’t wear it all day, because I only need it to listen to someone speaking at a distance such as when watching TV. That day I wore it from the morning because we wanted to watch the Whoopi Goldberg show at 11.
To avoid getting late for the appointment, I removed the other aid and decided to look for the missing one on our return.
Everything went well with the doctor that put me in a good mood. But all the way home, I kept thinking about the missing hearing aid. Where can it go?
I tried to reenact everything I had done since getting up that day. As far as I could remember, I had both the aids on when I got ready and came down in the morning. I had an appointment with my physical therapist at ten. After half an hour of therapy, I sat down on one end of our L shaped sectional sofa as the therapist had directed. When he left, I saw Bharati sitting in the sun on the deck. Before joining her, I removed my face mask and kept it on the half-wall that divides the kitchen and the family room.
We sat on the deck for an hour or so before coming in for lunch and then get ready for the doctor’s appointment. During all this time, I never paid attention to the hearing aids on my ears.
I had not ventured outside of the two rooms and the deck. I thought in a limited area; it would be easily visible. I mean, it is not too small, yet not too big either. At one end, it has a grey half-moon shaped compartment with a small battery attached by a thin wire to a white oval piece that goes into the ear.
Bharati and I took turns to inspect every area that I had been in since the morning. We turned the blankets and pillows on the bed upside down. We removed the seats and backrests at each corner of the sofa. We looked underneath the sofa. Nothing.
Bharati remembered that she had swept the floor under the breakfast table after our lunch.
“But, it’s not that small,” I said. “You would have seen it.”
“I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t pay attention.”
So, I turned every piece of trash in the trash bag. Nothing.
I was getting frustrated. Was this a disappearing trick that someone up there planned it?
Last year when I had my hearing tested, the audiologist had described the new advanced hearing aids that were coming in the market. These were the ones with connectivity to a smartphone, and iPad, etc., and with all remote controls. It’s time for an upgrade, I thought. Like appliances like TV or your car or a computer, when their lifetime is up, it is time to replace them. I didn’t think my hearing aids had served their lifetime yet.
Two days go by. I resigned myself to wait out this coronavirus lockdown phase, after which I would visit the audiologist for new aid. It wasn’t the end of the world. I can easily get by without using one. Still, I found it hard to get over the fact that I had lost something, and I could not find it.
As I usually do after lunch, I was getting ready to nap on the day bed in the study. I had barely pulled the cover over my head when I heard Bharati say something from the family room.
“Did you say something?” I asked.
“Guess what. Guess what.” I heard her saying.
“What is it?”
“Your hearing aid.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“No. Why would I do that?”
With that, she walks in with the missing hearing aid.
“I don’t believe this. Where was it? And we had looked for it everywhere.”
“Well. I was upstairs, and I remembered this prayer that my cousin from India had sent me. Use it to find something you have lost, they had said. I had asked them if it works and they said one hundred percent. So, I recited it upstairs. As I was coming down the stairs, my gaze went straight to the corner of the sofa where the two sections met. There it was sticking at the bottom just between the sofa and the floor.”
“But we had seen everywhere. How did we miss that corner?”
“I don’t know. But I believe in the prayer now. It has worked two times for me. I am keeping it in a safe place in the study.”
I remembered then that before going to join Bharati on the deck, I had taken off my mask at that corner.
I recommended that maybe we should memorize the prayer. We are not getting any younger. There will be occasions when we are saying;
“Where are the keys to the car?’’
“Where did I keep my wallet?’
“Where is the credit card?”
“I can’t find my glasses.”
Then heaven forbid what will happen when we say;
“Where is that prayer when we need it most.”