Write On!

Listen To Love Happen

In Responses, Uncategorized on February 16, 2012 at 11:10 pm

by Jen Gregory

It’s six thirty at night. Valentine’s night, and there is something I want you to see. Quiet. We are listening, seeing with our ears.

Do you hear the traffic? It’s right outside the frosted door. Listen. The tires slosh in the melted snow, the rubber wheels make a sucking and splashing sound. Over and over they come by, the large delivery vehicles shift their gears, and you can hear their moans as they come to a stop at the traffic light. The rhythmic sound of come and go, stop and start, interrupted only by the occasional horn honking. Like a goose trying to sing in the symphony. Dismissed. Ignored. Ridiculous. Leave please.

Do you hear the sunset? No, not can you see it, but do you hear it? There is a sleepy lull in the sky, the frisky morning wind more of a daunting, overbearing alarm clock. Whoosh. Whoosh. Shwee. Whoosh. Woosh. Shwee. Go, home, cook, feed, bathe, sleep, it demands.

Do you hear the steam rising from the ground. Pssss it whispers, “Watch me dance!.”

Can you hear the cacophony of coffee machines inside the frosted glass door? Phfsssssst. Grrrrrsss. Frrrsssss. And the barista’s loud commands, let’s not neglect those.

“Gimme a Venti decaf caramel latte no whip,”

“I need more soy!”

“Who’s the chocolate Mocha for? Denise, you didn’t mark it on the cup! You want decaf or espresso?”

“That’ll be eleven eighty six, please drive up. Do you need some Splenda?”

Do you hear the chatter? Inside there is loud chatter. In the right corner she is telling him how awful her day was and he is saying, “Yes and uh-huh.” If you listen a little harder you can hear his foot tapping soft and rapid, irregular against the concrete floor. Pat. Pat. Thump.

Over in the other corner you can hear the belch of a leather sofa being settled into loudly and abruptly. Heavy thuds as backpacks drop to the ground. I doubt you can hear her eyelashes batting but you can hear her target’s crackly teenage voice make grand sweeping gestures to impress her. You can hear his laughter as a friend tumbles to the ground, sliding from the leather. Fwump. Shrill teenage laughter, alto and soprano hormones bouncing all over the cement walls.

There is the muffled sound of hats and coats shrugging off of shoulders, dropping to the ground or onto the chairs. Oh, and the chairs. Screech. Scrruuk. It never stops.

What? What do you hear? Oh that, well that is what we came here for.

Bamm. Bamm. Bamm.

Bamm. Bamm. Bamm.

Bamm. Bamm.Bamm.

Yes, that is a doorknob jiggling frantically back and forth. How precise of you, excellent listening. Let’s lean in, get closer, listen harder.

“Hello! Someone open the door! Please!”

Bamm. Bamm.

More of the jiggling doorknob.

Oooh. That was a knee to the door, a large moan. She’s hurt herself.

“Someone open the door!!!!”

A purse thuds to the ground, I hear the tap of smart phone keys. Yes, she is texting someone or updating her Facebook status, bound to get a laugh when you are stuck in the restroom. Wonder which she did? Some things listening just won’t tell you.

“Arrgh! Let me out of here. Bang. Bang. Bang.”

Yes, I hear it too, footsteps coming toward the little hall! She is saved!

Bang. Bang. Bang. “Someone HELP ME!” Her voice sounds young, annunciated, entitled, and disgusted. My bet is she is single, makes her own way and is used to having it, not used to being stuck in the bathroom at the coffee shop, if you know what I mean.

Ahh, listen. Here we are.

“Hello? Are you stuck in there?”

“Yes! Thank God! Please get me out!”

Let’s fast forward. We hear him leave and tell the lady at the counter. She gets her manager and the manager called a lock smith after calmly telling the woman how sorry they were and that they would have her out soon.

Meantime our hero walks back and we hear the men’s room door shut, some running water and a flush. Most obviously he has taken care of his basic needs. Then we hear him walk out of the bathroom, you can hear the warm air suck the cold air in, squish it and release its chilly puff into the room.

Now we hear the door again, his deep calm voice speaking to the manager’s more frantic and busied tone.

“Sure, whatever might help her and thank you sir!” she says.

We hear tapping, low grunting and the woman saying thank you, over and over.

BAM! The door falls, leaving its hinges. She screams, blood curdling. Patrons nervously laugh. Perhaps he should have warned her. We didn’t hear him do that. Never mind though, she sighs deeply and says, “Thank you.”

Do you hear it too? Reserve, softness, a bashful hum to her voice, this is new. She must find him handsome.

And he, his voice as he says, “No problem, glad I could help.” It is deeper, he clears his throat no less than three times for six words to be uttered. He sounds stunned. We can guess that she must be very attractive.

“Would you like to come out now?” he ask.

“Yes, but my purse…” she says meekly.

“Grab it and I’ll help you over the door.” he says, voice restored.

“That’s just it, it’s under the door.”

Laughter. Soft, interested laughter erupts. We can only imagine eyes gazing, quickly looking down, chiseled chin, scruffy cheeks, long, silky hair, blue eyes, brown eyes, love, maybe.

Maybe love, yes. It is Valentine’s Day after all.

  1. Great job evoking the aural nature of the scene – great onomatopoeia. 🙂 I also really enjoyed the omniscient point of view. And now, I will take my literary geekiness downstairs for a cup of coffee. 😉

  2. Someone has been hanging out at Starbucks. I just don’t know if that was a vivid imagination or based on a personal knowledge (observed or experienced). As for Tara’s comments, I will get back to you after I get my dictionary out. LOL

    • Ha! It was imagination and yes, we like Starbucks too much 🙂 and Tara always uses big words that cause me to need a dictionary 😉

      Sent from my iPhone

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