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Hearing Aids
by Zvi A. Sesling

Bertrand realizes he is losing his hearing so he goes to Ultimate Ears and undergoes tests. Finally the hearing specialist tells him he needs a pair of Ultimate Ears X-1 hearing aids.

You’ll be able to hear a pin drop in the middle of traffic jam and the cars will not sound overly loud. These are ultimate in hearing aids. The specialiast explains a lot of technical data that Bertrand does not understand but fully appreciates the importance of what he is being told.

After paying $8,000 for a pair of Ultimate Ears X-1 and waiting the two weeks for them to arrive by special carrier at his front door, he signs the receipt and immediately fits them to his ears. To his amazement Bertrand can hear things he has not heard for a long time: the refrigerator, door bell, neighbors arguing next door, dogs barking, mice scurrying across the kitchen floor. More amazing, by adjusting the hearing to Level 1 he can hear the past: FDR’s declaration of war against the Japanese, Eisenhower’s acceptance speech as newly elected president, Roger Maris’ 61st homerun. He is astounded by the history he can tune in on. Then on a whim he boosts the hearing to Level 8 and hears things yet to come: a president impeached and another assassinated. A space landing on a moon of Jupiter.

Bertrand literally cannot believe his ears. He wants to return them to Ultimate Ears but decides he will figure out how the stock market does and become rich. While fiddling with the setting he hears his minister praying for his departed soul.

Originally published in the Wilderness House Literary Review