I don’t think that most people are consciously aware of all the sounds and sights and activities that go in to any average day any average city. All of that is just part of our day to day, take it for granted, same shit different day kind of existence.
I was at the Square One Mall the other day, along with my daughter Sydney Erica. We were having supper at BK. That isn’t the type of food that she generally gets a lot of. But that late afternoon was special because Syl and I were leaving for Jamaica and we wouldn’t see her for almost two weeks. Actually, it’s more about that she won’t be able to see us for two weeks.
Syd will be 40 this December. However, her intellectual and functioning levels are closer to around 6-7. She can read and write, toilet herself, feed herself. But there are times, such as this one where we are going to be away, that Sydney has difficulty with. Although I must admit that she does better and better each time we go. She has great support from her staff at her residence and ongoing reinforcement at her job site. We have no concerns when we go away. Sydney Erica is the greatest gift that Syl and I will ever receive. It even tops Couples, but only by a couple of points.
Well, there we were, sitting at the food court. People going everywhere. They were giving out free pieces of chicken from a Chinese restaurant, and as people stopped to get a chic on a stick, the aisle way became clogged. Everyone scrambled to get around the taste testers.
Being that it was late afternoon, the food court was pretty busy. Taco Bell, a pizza place, Burger King, Subway coming soon, and a few others. All had mostly young teens. Everywhere you looked. Pink hair, looooong hair, spiked hair,no hair. And that was just the girls.
Overalls, both male and female, long leather looking coats, the ivy leaguers, the outcasts, the meek and mild. All buzzing back and forth between their friends and other groups of friends.
“And the girls walked by, dressed up for each other”. Many teen girls wearing the “brands” they all associate with. Checking themselves out any time they passed anything shiny. And of course, checking out each other. “OMG. Did you see what she had on? Yuck.“ This young lady was about 13-15. It’s really hard to tell. They all want to look supah. And with some of the outfits they wear, a nice make-up job, and BAM! “She looked a lot older to me, officer”.
Sloppy sneakers, knee high boots, loafers, flip flops. A pretty average Mall in a pretty average town, full of pretty average people.
And as I sat there, amidst all of the clatter, Kelly Clarkson blasting out a song and dance, showing on six different screens around the food court. A kid size choo-choo that goes around in an oval making clickity-clackaty sounds. Every little darling of a kid was pulling the string on the bell, or pushing a horn, or, screaming at the top of her lungs, a very unhappy 2-3 year old little cutie,, her arms outstretched with tears streaming down her little cheeks. And each time the train came around near mother, the distressed child cried even more loudly. Mama kept waving at her, saying, ”Hi honey. Here I am”. Never asked the ride operator to let her kid off. Just waved and smiled and watched as her daughter was turning blue.
Sometimes, I think that it may be worth it to shoot the mother, give the kid a shot at a better life, and do a long time in prison. Right there, I have a problem. It’s that word “prison”. No sir. Not for me. Ever. Not that I haven’t come close more than once. I feel sorry for that cute little girl.
All of the sounds being made by people talking, kids running down an aisle heading for the bathroom,
screaming all the way.
I don’t know. Maybe running and screaming helps a person to “hold it in”. I may try that technique, sometime, when I’m in a crowded mall setting, and my bladder is bulging. Running and screaming. Who knew?
The cacophony of sounds and bright neon blinking lights and aromas that filled the room, were really, no more than “just another day”. They don’t hear the deafening sounds. They pay little attention as to how loud they are or anyone else.
Chatter, chatter, munch, crunch, mmmm. Life.
I wanted to get away from “life”. Away from the constant barrage of audible and other sensory onslaughts to my brain.
Cars and busses outside. Their engines sometimes seemed to rev up, all at the same time. Here and there, a horn or two. I think it’s amazing just how much noise there is and that we have to just “suck it up” and go on.
On the day before our early morning departure for CTI, I waved good-bye to flashing lights, and honking horns and the myriad of outside forces that face each one of us, every day. I won’t miss the shrill sound of an ambulance as it speeds by me, lights flashing, bells and whistles hitting about 400 decibels. I can do without the cars that are in urgent need of loving care to stop the sounds and smoke they emit. Their drivers are completely unaware. It’s just another day in Toon town.
I don’t want to hear anything else from this industrial world we live in. And we can do all of that, and then some, with 12 days at CTI. It certainly won’t be a cure all, in that, it won’t eliminate the daily concert we hear, but it will give us just enough time to hear each other. Close enough so that we can hear each others breath. We can whisper and never miss a word.
Time to see each other for more than ten minutes here and a couple hours there. To be able to stare at each other without speaking, and we still understand. Feelings that, all to often in our noisy cages back home, may go unspoken or unheard.
Sitting together at breakfast, with the most beautiful soft sounds reaching our ears. I can hear and feel the wind as it brushes past me. I can smell morning manna as the kitchen crew prepares. I can see and hear happy couples. Smiles and laughter. All of us unhurried. Just being.
I can hold Syl’s hand, I can pass the sugar. I can sit back in that chair, and look out across the emerald green ocean, with the waves breaking as they roll around the island, and I can feel my heart beat. It isn’t a hurried sound. It shows no sign of urgency. Just beating in rhythm with all that is around me. Paradise. For us, and for so many other fortunate couples that that enjoyed the Couples experience.
As they say, in my adopted homeland, “Soon come”. And indeed it is. About twelve hours from now, we should be boarding the plane. The last little bit of the mechanized world that would be roaring in my head until we land. And then………………..