Tuh. Tuh. Tuh. Your sneakers gently thud as you walk down the steps from your front door onto your driveway.
Rreh. Rreh. Rreh. A bird sounds overhead as a slight breeze hits your face.
Click. Click. Whruh. You snap your headphones open and put them overhead.
Everything is muffled.
You can still hear muted birds as they squawk to each other.
You can still here the tuh-tuh-tuhing of your steps as you walk.
But it’s all quieter now.
You click on your headphones. Buh buh bum.
A voice starts speaking to you. It’s a girl. Sometimes she laughs as she talks to you. Sometimes, you have to admit, it sounds a little basic, like the health and wellness stuff in magazines, but it doesn’t annoy you. It sounds more like the life advice that you seek from your friends. That you ask for.
She’s talking about life. She’s talking about cake. She’s talking about cake as a metaphor for life.
Chrr. Chrr. Chrr. Your tuh-tuh-tuhing is louder as you walk on the gravel path around the lake. The wind is still blowing, it’s strong enough to feel a chill on your cheeks, but not loud enough to hear over the girl.
You see the ripples on the lake, you can’t hear the water move, even if you want to.
You stop to take a photo.
You hear birds twittering to each other, they sound like the Disney birds in the old princess films like Sleeping Beauty.
You’re still chrr-chrr-chrring as you walk and listen to the girl. She’s talking about California now.
You see birds flitting in and out of the tall grasses next to the lake’s path. You see people fishing, they look cold; you hear a fait whrrrrr and plop as someone casts a line.
You see ducks waddling the path in front of you. You see ducks in the water, they look like that photograph of the Loch Ness Monster. They dive below.
A family is on the path in front of you. The woman is pushing a stroller, the little boy, maybe only three? He’s standing close to the rocky edge leading to the water. He points excitedly at the ducks.
The girl in your ears laughs, says she feels like she’s giving a pep talk. You keep walking, but now you’ve come to a paved path. Once more you tuh-tuh-tuh.
She says, with a sigh, that it’s time to go to bed.
Tuh. Tuh. Scrr. Tuh. It sounds like a tiny pebble is stuck in a groove of your shoe.
The girl asks you to tell her all about your journey. You wonder how many people who’ve listened to her will do that.
You wonder if you will do that.
A jazzy theme fades her out. You struggle to turn off your headphones because technology isn’t exactly your best friend.
Everything’s at full volume again.
A dog barks at you. “Shh, Baby,” you tell it. More dogs start barking, “Stop that, Aspen, come here. That person’s just–” the man’s voice fades out as you walk away.
Rubba. Rubba. Rubba. You look east. You can just barely see the main road–the only main road in this small town–anda few cars running along it. You wonder if that car’s tires are flat, is that why they sound so grippy?
A car comes out of nowhere to the west. You won’t get hit by it, but you give it a challenging, sideways look anyway.
Tuh. Tuh. Tuh. It sounds like the pebble in your shoe has been rubbed out of the tread.
A bird sounds like it’s laughing.
The dubba-dubba-mourning doves coo.
More birds chatter. Twitter. They all sound so different.
Someone’s on a weird little car. Its engine goes puh-puh-puh-prrrrrrrr and you see a man ride off away from you.
Someone with a small leaf blower is zhrrrrrring his yard.
Tit. Tit. Tittle. Tit – le. You kick a tiny pebble and see it bounce in front of you.
Your front door creaks gently. You close it and slip off your shoes.
You get your cup, go for ice. It grrrr-plings into your cup.
You go to your room, close the door, but it doesn’t latch, and you sit down.
Your computer keys go puh-puh-puh as you strike them, you feel inspired. You feel the need to share.
Podcast credit goes to @Jasikelly (Instagram) and her podcast, “Pretty Zen.”