Day 215 — Sound Appeal

Office ConversationsI don’t know about you, but I love total sensory experiences.

The moving escalators at the Tenleytown-AU Metro station sound like whales mating. The only thing missing is the whales and a good salty ocean. I hope the maintenance folk leave them as is.

Sound imagery—particularly the sounds of labor (work) and love (making)—help me get through the day.

Unfortunately, my life is often radio silent. Long dark nights hugging my pillow and then a head turn to check the time—1:45 AM. Nothing between the sheets except me and my pillow.

When your daily litany of sounds change, something either good, or bad, has happened: You’ve moved, given birth, been fired or laid-off.

As much as some sounds become ambient nose,  I sometimes hunger for the sound of conversation to make me laugh.

Receptionists, for example, seem to have a knack for knowing how to do this. They talk more than most, seeing that they answer the phone and all.

Last week, when I had to wait in a small lobby, I overheard the receptionist say, “Every time I hear that phone, it’s ringing.” Well, that would be true.

When I temp, I typically sit in a cubicle. Sitting in a small, open space offers offers opportunities for engaging conversations. In my last temp job, the department planned to throw a farewell party for one of its employees in the middle of the afternoon.

The manager came over and said to everyone, “Everybody hide and don’t make any noise.”

“Um,” I said, “We’re in a cube. Exactly where do you want us to go?”

I couldn’t believe his response: “Under the tables and behind the privacy screens. Now everyone shut up.”

I couldn’t resist a comeback: “Considering Harold sits right next to this cube and these dividers aren’t soundproof, this smoke-and-mirrors trick really is a failure.”


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