Today’s afternoon was a wet one. But it was the cold, soothing, stay-inside-and-nap-all-day kind of afternoon.The sound of the rain falling itself was enough to make the entire atmosphere peaceful and tranquil. It made me forget about time and made me just want to sit on the front step and stare at the rain together with my dad, and my dog.
Then my father said something that somewhat spoilt the mood. “I wish I can listen to this kind of rain all day.”
Of course, to anyone, this sounds completely innocent. But no one knew the suffering that my father goes through everyday. He has a condition called tinnitus, more commonly known as the “ringing of the ear” illness. He describes it as a high pitched screech that goes on and on and he’s the only one that can hear it. Kind of like a mosquito trapped behind your eardrum. He wishes to listen to rain all day because it can drown out the ringing.
He has other chronic conditions too. Consistent neck aches, scoliosis, numbness from the neck down, short-sightedness, poor memory, and so on. It pains me to see him wearing all the medication, ointment and various other things he uses. He says it comes naturally with old age, and there’s nothing I can do to prevent them. There’s no miracle food I can eat and no miracle life habit I can practice to prevent them from coming to me. It runs in the family, he says. My father had scoliosis, and so did his father, and probably the father before that too.
Surely with all the advanced technology and science, there must be some way around this? Like, extract the DNA that causes these ailments and vanquish them. Or produce a gene that counters aches and tinnitus. Someone could design nanorobots that help to promote blood circulation and prevent numbness. And let’s hope that these solutions do not cost me an arm, a leg and a kidney.
If they do, then I hope I live a short life so I’m spared from going through the suffering. Maybe I will commit the greatest sacrifice and save the rest of the Tan generation from suffering by choosing not to continue my lineage.
Yours faithfully, in support of birth control,