What Else Can You Hear?
by Renee Lupica
If you can hear the ocean in a seashell, what else can you hear?
If you hold an empty coffin to your ear you can hear Dracula snoring.
If you hold an empty can of Nutella to your ear you can hear bits of Nutella getting stuck to your hair.
If you hold the empty heart of someone who is both privileged and also bitter about not being more privileged to your ear you can hear the temper tantrums of the two-year-old who inspired the term “Terrible Twos.”
If you hold an empty wine bottle to your ear, you can hear raisins weeping.
If you hold an empty can of soda to your ear you can hear every advertising jingle, except this time they are pleading desperately.
If you hold an empty phone booth to your ear you can hear the cawing of circling vultures.
If you hold the empty CD case to a CD you have lost to your ear you can hear your least favorite song from that CD played at half normal speed.
If you hold an almost empty bottle of expensive face cream to your ear you can hear it mocking you, and it sounds like the voice of your teenage self.
If you hold an empty golf cart to your ear you will hear the snootiest rich guy voice saying, “Yes, yes, very droll” in response to every joke you hear about balls, and you will hear this for the rest of your life.
If you hold an empty box of tampons to your ear during a harvest moon you will hear the bleating of lambs being led to slaughter and you will know the time has come.
If you hold a sea shell to your ear you will hear the ambient noises surrounding you reflected back after having echoed around a spiraling space.
And if you hold an empty hand behind your ear, you will hear all the sounds that were already there amplified, and you will know that nothing is empty if it is full of atoms and air or space and energy, and all those things that have seemed empty have really been full the whole time.
Previously: Six Fairy Tales for the Modern Woman
Photo via bejean/flickr.
Renee Lupica has a BFA, a neurotic dog, and a head full of questions. She volunteers at an elementary school library where she gets a kick out of infecting young minds with book worms. You can follow her on Twitter @rmlupica.