Sounds 2

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a very aural woman.

No jokes Casca or Tom Allen.  You BOTH know what I mean.

I’m talking about my sense of hearing.  It can trigger an amazing number of memories.  The experts say the sense of smell can hearken more and while that’s also true, I find that I can be whisked back to a time and place even quicker with music.

I can hear Michael Jackson’s”Got To Be There” and can be taken back to Karnes City, Texas, circa 197.1


Anything from “The Babys” and I’m back in Austin and it’s 1977 again.   The New Wave movers and shakers that were Level 42, Midge Ure, Scritti Politi and A-ha take me back to the 80’s and all the wonders of Laredo, Texas.  That’s when I was younger, thinner, cuter and far more amenable to “gettin’ my swerve on”

While music can evoke memories, other sounds can illicit certain emotions.  The sound of the door slamming shut when someone you love walks out for the last time.   The silence resonates in it’s wake.   If finality has a sound, that’s it.  There’s the sound of someone you care about, hanging up on you. You don’t want to end the conversation, but he has to because of business. There’s not a lonelier sound in the world than that inimitable click, then dial tone.

It can be deafening.

There’s that certain silence that drones out everything you hear right after a plane comes to a full stop at the jet way.   Eventually, you’ll hear sounds of muffled conversations, people standing up, stretching, opening overhead bins and the rustling of clothing and baggage as people maneuver through the narrow aisle.   Depending on what awaits you in the real world outside the fuselage, this can be a most welcomed, exciting sound or an incredibly painful one.

Regardless, it’s always a journey’s end. Always...every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Then, there are the sounds of conversations in a restaurant.  You can hear the rise and fall of intonation, but you can’t make out what’s being said. But you know that life is happening all around you.

A 35th birthday being celebrated.  A couple is lauded for sharing 25-great years of wedded bliss.   Around the room, plans are being made, plans are being shelved.   A business deal is secured.  At one table, love is renewed; at another table,  love ends.  Someone celebrates a new promotion while someone else is drinking away the pain of losing a job.

And even if you removed sound from the equation, you can look around at the expression on people’s faces and get the gist of their lives .There’s the long married couple who are sitting together, but not saying a word.  She stares off into space. His head is anywhere but there.

It would be easy to imagine their life at home isn’t that much different.



It is perfunctory;  silence has sadly become their common bond.

A young couple sits across from them. They clasp hands across the table…their arms span the pats of butter, the bread basket and the tiny porcelain bin that houses the Sweet-n-Lo and sugar packets. They profess their undying love for each other and then look at the older couple and swear “that” will never happen to them.

The woman feels their stare. She glances their way and notices their closeness and remembers when that was she and her husband.”What happened to us?” she asks herself and the tuxedoed waiter places her 8 oz. fillet Mignon in front of her. The food has arrived. Now, the silence has a perfect excuse.  The silence at dinner will follow them home. Another silent bedtime awaits them. Hours later, they’ll awaken to a quiet morning and that will invariably, turn into an even angrier afternoon.

The anger is cyclical.


To this couple, the sound of someone leaving and slamming the door behind them for the last time signals freedom. To them, the sound of the click and dial tone, only means the much anticipated end of yet another meaningless phone call.


Did they fall out of love?  Or did they just stop trying?

No, they just stopped talking.



  1. A fork through the heart-haven’t most of us felt that before? Those little fork tines can hurt just as badly as a sharp knife sometimes. I guess it takes a lifetime to learn the secret of good relationships. I just read an article by Dr Phil and he said that marriage is not a long date but a lifetime commitment. There should be fun but there is also kids, broken appliances, credit cards, nosy inlaws, and all the other problems of just living in one household. We just need to learn how to deal with it and compromise—period…

  2. I wuz identifying with you in the first few paragraphs…

    1. Smells: Cut grass…summertime in Virginia as a child, dry brush….summertime in East County San Diego as a child

    2. Music: “All She Wants to do is Dance” by Don Henley, and “You Spin Me Round” by Dead or Alive…many nights clubbing in Georgetown in 1985; “Walk on the Ocean” by Toad the Wet Sprocket…my college graduation party; “Ben” by a young Michael Jackson…sitting next to the cute girl on the bus in 3rd grade

    Then you got long-winded and confusing…or maybe it’s just my 12-second attention span.

  3. Nigel, women can jump around a conversation and end up right back at the beginning -or didn’t you know that by now???? We usually have a lot to say and sometimes there is just no way around it. Sorry if you got lost, but I thought this was a very good post. Go back and read SLOWLY…..

  4. Not to blame either sex in a marriage, but….how many times does it take being told that your interests are are uninteresting before all avenues of discussion are muted? If the only acceptable topics are the kids, the bills, the in-laws, and the neighbor’s new lawnmower, how can you maintain intimacy? If a couple doesn’t maintain a shared sense of humor & have some common ongoing interests (outside of children) to bond over, the relationship is going to get very stale.

    Also, if you aren’t having sex with him, he won’t talk to you. Vice versa is also true.

  5. (Comment e-mailed to me from my friend, Andy in Alvin)

    kinda dark today are we? my wife of 32 years read this to me…but i got distracted and didn’t hear all of it.
    but, i do want to get back to the first line she read to me about you being “oral”.

    tell me more!

    Andy in Alvin

  6. Nigel, women can jump around a conversation and end up right back at the beginning -or didn’t you know that by now????

    Kathy, I spent years trying to figure out women. I guess that’s why I’m 42 and single…

    What were we talking about again?

  7. I think that if we had each other figured out, then we would have all lost total interest a long time ago. It’s not easy sharing a life with another person-but if I didn’t have someone and my children and grandchildren then I can’t imagine where I would be. I suppose anyone could say that about themselves. Nigel, I don’t know your history but I am sorry that you haven’t found the right person(or maybe you have) Some people just don’t need that in their lives. It’s kinda funny in that I have all this but am searching for the “real” me at this stage. I am quite a bit older than you and I hope that anyone, male or female, can discover their true meaning if not for themselves only.

  8. I smell diesel fuel or BBQ chicken and I have memories of my visits to the Philippines while serving in the Navy.

    Then again I enjoy the smell of gas which may explain why my memories are so…vivid.

  9. This is just for fun-I mean if you are married(women especially) you may find this amusing. I read an article in a Texas magazine about Brenham Tx (the place as Texans know as Blue Bell country) and it featured a former first lady(husband was mayor for decades during the 30’s-50’s.) Anyway, he must have been a character-an old cowboy who led cattle rides still going strong to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo today. She was asked since he was a rough guy and hard man to love, let alone tame, had she ever thought of divorcing him. Her answer was, “No, but I did think about killing hime a time or two!” Then she told about the time a salesman tried to sell her his product and he got nowhere so he tried flattery and asked her what criteria she would have for selecting her next marital prospect. She shot him a look(by the way she is 103 years old) and replied, “It’s a simple numerical formula: 85, 95 105.” He has to have at least $85 million, minimum 95 years olde and running a 105 degree fever.” I know you guys probably don’t find this funny but you gals will!!!!! Gotta love married life!!

  10. Hey Kathy…don’t cry for me. I was being self-deprecating and snarky…and trying to be funny (unfortunately, I fail at that 7 out of 10 times, but hell, that’s still batting .300!). Lord knows, I don’t want Laurie mistaking me for hanging out with that sniveling dweep Michael.

    The clue?

    “Uh…what were we talking about again?”

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