Earwax

Lately, I’ve started to hear a thumping in my left ear, like the beating wings of a fly trapped in wax.

I figured I just needed to clean my ears out but that thumping persisted…I was then reminded of a time long ago, when I was a child.

I was playing with my brother and cousins that evening, and we were out trying to catch tadpoles when I found a small, black beetle.

They didn’t have a name and tended to hang out in the mud. So I grabbed one and said to my younger cousin, “I have a secret to tell you.”

When he leaned in to hear what I had to say, I slipped the little black beetle into his waiting ear. He screamed immediately and tried to dig it out, but the beetle crawled further down. His panic turned to crying and I felt the smallest hint of pleasure at his expense.

My cousin ran down the block and back home. His parents had to rush him to the hospital, where they found the beetle, lodge deep in his ear, encased in ear wax. I made my cousin promise not to tell on me.

Ever since then, I had kept my ears really clean, but lately it’s been so hot out. I can feel the build of wax, piling up in my ear.

Then that faithful moment happened. I yawned and heard it, the sound of wings, like some tiny fruit fly buzzing in my ear drum. I cleaned my ears, held my breath, and even tried jogging. Still, it beat in my ears.

The damn thing wants to torture me. My friends and doctor said it was nothing, slight tinnitus but it won’t stop. My parents never found out who put the bug in my cousin’s ear, but I knew.

And now, I needed to get one out of mine.

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