My Left Ear


Monday afternoon.

Rain, wind, chill, fog.

You know how it goes.

At the library in the middle of the day, the middle of my neighborhood, the middle of my life.

My left ear is listening to a heated conversation on alcoholism and my right ear is sleeping.

It is crowded here. And surprisingly noisy for a library.

My thoughts are constantly disrupted by a loud slurping noise. The conversation has gone global. World issues now.

I listen with one ear, but I assume nothing.

Giggling, more slurping, a quick intake of breath, a deep rumbling underground, whispering…Crunch time is here.

I love this libraric atmosphere. Everyone looks so pre-occupied. I am surrounded by tons of paper…literature in formation. There is that dusty, papery, woody smell.

I always feel smarter when I’m sitting in the library. Like my presence has meaning. I never have to justify or explain my arrival. I am here and that is enough. Anything else is too much information.

My left ear is picking up some sort of electronic buzzing sound. It almost sounds like an alarm but it is brief and intermittent.

My right ear, still sleeping, will have no memory of my visit here today. Of that I am sure.

Conversation has now changed to parents, politics, pets. More loud slurping..

Being here, on this hard wooden chair, in the middle of my life, in the middle of my neighborhood, in the middle of the day, reminds me of being in school.

And I’m okay with that.

Life is a never-ending journey and I learn something new every day. I just have to listen.

And use both ears if at all possible…

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