free listening

img_2575I was sitting at my desk working on something meaningless (while thinking about things that have meaning) when I heard waves pounding the shore. The big, crashing, loud kind that usually precede a storm, though one’s not coming. Not a literal one, anyway. The waves were so loud, I was compelled to take a walk to see them. As each one ebbed back into the ocean, the rocks at the shoreline clinked against each other like the ice cubes in the large cocktail I’ll be having shortly. Combined with the dense fog we had this morning, it seemed like nature was trying to give us a bath. Wash the stank off.

I kept walking along the shoreline and eventually came across this lady. “Free listening” her sign said. I took a picture, planning to chronicle but keep moving as usual. But she looked so peaceful staring out at the ocean, so kind-hearted that I stopped and took a seat. I asked, “How’s business?” and she said it had been busy. That a lot of people wanted to talk. That the majority felt shell-shocked. Unprepared for the events of last night. Uncomfortable knowing there were so many people unwilling to publicly admit whom they were going to vote for, but vote for him they would.

No one saw this coming (well, except Michael Moore who called it months ago), and part of the reason is many voters were keeping this choice close. Where women were taking selfies in their pantsuits outside of polling places to celebrate voting for a woman for President, other voters were quietly pulling the lever for the other guy. Maybe it’s the secrecy of it that’s so creepy.

Anyway, she and I had a nice chat. It felt soothing, healing even, talking to a total stranger on a day when the country I live in feels a little strange. I thanked her for the conversation, trudged back to my desk and got back to work. But I felt a little lighter.

As the pendulum swings one way, it must swing back the other. I can’t wait to see the opposite end of the arc we’re on now.

2 Replies to “free listening”

  1. Good morning! I need to be able to stop and chat with that woman. Its been two days and every day feels like something died (the American dream?). I’m permanently sick to my stomach, have little ambition to do anything. I’ve lived 73 years to see this? I often say that very little surprises me these days, but this truly surprised me. Shouldn’t, because I live in Texas, hear the talk, watch the crap that passes for social interaction here. Meanwhile, I’m just sick….

    1. I wish everyone could stop and talk to her. I felt like I was on the edge of…something, and her calm, quiet demeanor was a salve. At least for the day.

      It’s all ridiculous and terrifying, but I think the shock of it was what did me in. I never–and I mean NEVER–thought he would win. The Democrats bet on the wrong horse, a horse saddled with baggage that couldn’t be overcome. Even when the alternative was a joke. A carnival barker dripping with bile.

      What will all the rightwing talk radio shows do now? Now that the Republicans are in charge? No more “they’re tryin’a take our guns” or “they’re tryin’a make us all homosexuals” or whatever those guys spit and foam about.

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