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.