I never thought John Cage was
trying to tell us anything about silence.
He told us music never stops,
only listening does,
and what if we never stop
listening? What if we become
so accustomed to focusing
on sounds that we forget to
tune out and block and cocoon?
What if we love sounds
“as they are,” as he says?
Will we ever get anything done?
Or will we be swept away,
dancing to the garbage trucks,
crushing today’s refuse to bits?
Will we sway softly to our own
heartbeats or hum in tune to tinnitus?
We won’t distinguish between the
sounds of skates on the sidewalk
and the instructions of the arresting officer.
As our loved ones tell us we’re the
only one, we’ll be listening to the
dripping of a loveless faucet
or the groaning of a protesting
gate hinge forced to give way.
We will live in a constant stream
of unconnected moments,
drowning in the music God
sent to save our souls.
She tweeted that it was the worst day of her life.
They didn’t have her favourite hazelnut soy milk for her latte, and everything was ruined.
She singlehandedly spawned the phrase “first world problems,” And people started saying, “Check your privilege” all the damned time.
She was aware of her privilege, of course, and thought it would be funny to exaggerate the tragedy of a morning coffee gone slightly wrong.
It was meant to be ironic, but some people don’t see the humour in angry rants about insignificant events in daily life.
They are focused only on important matters. For example, they worry about what God people send their prayers, what kind of sex people are enjoying, and whether people have acceptable clothing to match their very real genitals.
We mustn’t be distracted by the insignificance of coffee.
It’s just because we used to see all these moronic looking jerks just strolling around through town trying to look tough with their AR-15s and Sig Sauers for no real reason, and we just laughed at them, because what were they even doing? I mean, they were like cartoons in these stupid trucks with big tires and all these stupid flags waving all over the place and everything. I mean, you know what I’m talking about, right? They were just these fringe idiots trying to get a little attention, and then, you know, these people start showing up dressed the same way and shooting at people and grabbing people off the street, and we don’t know who’s who, anymore. We don’t know what’s going to happen, and no one really knows what’s going on, but everyone knows it isn’t right. I mean, even a little child knows it isn’t right for anyone to just go around grabbing people and terrifying them like that, especially when they done nothing wrong and all, but it ain’t right, anyway, to just take people like that—violating their God given rights and everything. There’s no way to know when they are going to be shooting real bullets or so-called “less lethal” bullets. There’s no way to know if you’re going to jail or the grave. And you sort of just say your prayers, and you say, “God help me now or let me die doing what I know is right.” And you just go and stare them in the face again, because they want to see you run, but you know if you run, no one will ever be free again.
She was explaining about how each moment had an infinite number of possibilities and how each possibility existed in an alternate universe where each subsequent moment created an infinite number of following possibilities and how each of these possibilities existed in even more parallel universes where every possible story line for every possible moment was played out with both cosmic justice and celestial irony.
But he was distracted by the movement of her lips. He was watching the flutter of her eyelashes and the dilation of her pupils. He was enthralled, almost thrilled, but appeared bored. She said, “You’re not even listening,” and started to gather her things.
He was disappointed, yes, but it wasn’t the first time a casual social interaction had gone awry. All the same, he wondered what might have happened if he’d only listened a bit more carefully or at least explained that he’d been distracted by her lips.
Dominic’s parents took him to church and warned him to sit still. Of course he had a fidgeting fit as all boys his age will. He sat for eternity in a state of seemingly suspended frustration. He tried against his wont to focus on redemption and abomination, but he couldn’t get his mind off Susie’s note, better reading than the Bible. But it slipped from his pocket when he took his seat and fell on the other side of Nigel.