By now it should be apparent that I have some pretty irrational fears.
Fear of swallowing a spider in my sleep. Fear of drowning in the ball pit at Chuckie Cheese (or IKEA). Fear of waking up to find I've been transformed into a giant cockroach (see Gregor Samsa, Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis"). But my most gruesome of attainable fears was realized last night when the cottony swab of my Q-Tip dismounted its plastic shaft and became lodged in the opening of my right-side hearing device.
It's the closest I've come to fainting, outside of the two (six) times I've actually fainted.
Just like that, I was made deaf and left staring at the stripped, blunt end of my now, half-naked, Q-Tip. Immediately, my head began to swim with long-lost fragments of ill-composed Biology notes and questions I could not answer: What will happen if I can't get it out? Will it eventually reach my brain? Where the hell is my semi-lunar canal and shouldn't it prevent this sort of thing from happening?!
I even had a brief spell where in mental time-lapse I witnessed the stinking, rotting decay of the cotton swab within my inner ear, where it would remain, until being eaten by scavenging ear creatures.
It's hard to relate clearly what happened next. Something took over. I must have, with head leaned drastically to the right, unearthed a tweezer from the drawer beneath the sink and went to work in a panic-stricken fury. When I awoke I was sitting on the bathroom floor tearing up with nervous excitement, examining the surprisingly clean white devil.
Obviously, I decided to forgo cleaning my left ear.