Old-Fashioned Sounds

Sang looked over at me from the other end of the couch, where she had been reading the internets. “What are you doing?” she said. “You have a newspaper? How Leave It to Beaver.”

“Well, except it’s the Mercury,” I said. The Mercury is a really trashy paper. I picked it up at the bus stop because it had an article about bars on 82nd Avenue.

Sang said it had been awhile since she’d heard the sound of newspaper pages turning.

Earlier today, at work, I walked into the office kitchen and found that someone had brought in a replacement toaster oven. (The old one, which was really old, caught on fire a few months ago. [Unfortunately, I was at a meeting and didn’t get to see that.] Social workers are a cozy bunch and we missed our toaster oven.) It ticks! That resonant metallic tickticktickticktick of old-fashioned timers. I stared at the oven like it was TV; I had to drag myself away lest the owner of the bagel inside come back and think I had designs on it.

In another life I’d like to be a sound engineer. I love listening to soundscapes in movies and in real life. My sure-fire way to go to sleep is to lie down and close my eyes, and let my hearing spread out and out, until all the sounds are the same size and then I’m asleep.