Friday, October 24, 2008


I heard the deep, loud noise from across the road and lot. The man's voice was like gravel being spit out of the back of a spinning tire. The rest of my view was calm and natural, kind and inviting. I attempted to distract my hearing by simply telling myself I was imagining things. I looked around for signs of trouble but instead I saw puffy clouds moving across bright blue skies, colorful leaves scattering in the wind, birds darkened to gray to blend in with the barren colors of the winter to come, tree branches bowing and smoke drifting out of chimneys. I immersed myself in the sights and images around me, dismissing him like yesterday's nonsense. His voice challenged my dismissal - his loud angry growl vibrated through my chest. I concentrated harder on the images surrounding me. I allowed their innocence to over shadow and calm the vibration within. I was drawn to the sounds of a squirrel in the tree just twenty feet away. He was upside down chirping and scratching in perfect harmony, a harmony only made possible in nature. His strong nails gripped the weather-beaten trunk as he called out to his family to join him at his bounty. They came, and they all scratched in to the bark and chirped in delight. I could barely hear the angry gravel growl of the man still insisting that he be listened to. I resisted.

Eventually the spitting gravel voice demanded my attention. I was pissed. I followed the sound away from the chirping squirrels and rustling leaves and allowed my focus to follow the sound of his voice. His words were barely audible and yet his rage was undeniable. "Who was he graveling at? - could it be at another man, a woman, a child, a neighbor, a dog?" I hated the sound, it was rough, and determined and relentless. I heard a crash, and then broken glass, and a woman's voice yelling back now, for him to "Shut-up!!" I paused, and listened intently. The leaves and the squirrels and the clouds and the wind were no longer available to me. I tuned it all out so I could hear......................eventually a door slammed. She was a frail woman no older than thirty with bouncy blond hair. She was wearing jeans and a plaid shirt, boots and her bulky brown tote bag was clutched to her chest. She had a look of earnest intent - she stopped for a moment, - I thought, "No, don't go back, keep going away!!"......... I held my breath as she frantically searched her tote. Obviously she found whatever it was she thought she forgot, hopped in to her yellow jeep and sped away. Her tires spinning out gravel as she tore off - the sound? - as intense and frightening as his voice. Everything faded and I once again could hear the squirrels chirp, the tussle of leaves in the wind and once again I could see the smoke as it billowed up to the clouds. I breathed a long sigh of relief.


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