Nearly eight years ago, I started watching the television on mute with closed caption. I took on, what was for me, a strange way of watching television, when my son was born. And it stuck. Even when alone nowadays, I watch television with the sound off. There is something zen about the experience.
Even when I have the sound on, I use closed caption. Especially because my son is nearly eight years old. If I didn’t have closed caption on, I would miss much of the dialogue due to my little chatterbox and his loud sounds of mirth.
Now, I must note that even with my chatterbox hanging around I don’t like to have the television on loud. I’m mightily disturbed by loud television. I hate feeling like I can’t hear my own thoughts. I also mightily hate when the television is loud to drown out other loud noises in one’s environment.
Growing up, I often had to try to fall asleep to loud blasting street and all-around apartment building noise. There were fights on the street and boom boxes. The sounds lasted till the early dawn. I couldn’t sleep. Not that I cared much for sleep, to tell you the truth. I was an early riser and night bird. I burned both ends of the stick, as some might note. I was often afraid to sleep for there were odd people milling about and many nightmares to be had. In such a context, I had no other choice but to drown out the noise with my loud television. It was the perpetual catch-22 as the loud television that I played to drown out the street noise, also prevented me from sleeping. I was a fitful sleeper as a result.
As an adult, I love loud music. In a club. Through my headphones on the treadmill. At a party. I love loud movies in a theatre. Yet, I still go crazy if I have to hear other people’s music. I also go nuts if the television is too loud. I get upset if I have to turn up the volume to just keep someone else’s noise at bay. I typically have perfect blood pressure. However, a loud television probably shoots it up. Interestingly, in a psychological way, I can totally tune out people’s voices and baby cries. My son’s cries never phased me. Now here is a thought. I suppose I could record his cries and chatter and play that over the noise. It may just work.