White Noise

I stare intently at the screen,
focusing as much as I can.
Yet, sounds and voices
sneak in through my filters,
and stay in the background.

I see them sounds
like gaudy strokes of red and gold in a sea of blue,
like robots in a forest,
like a train screaming past a lonely station at midnight,
like a trumpet in a library,
like a …
You get the drift?

I look about me.
The office universe is undisturbed,
unmindful of these auditory troubles.
The voices only trip me up,
like I’m a magnet for these sounds.
If this is a mutation,
I want an out.
I’d gladly grab a rope
if it were lowered in this well.

I google my way around the internet
encountering words like hyperacusis and misophonia.
I don’t like the sound of my voice
when I read these terms out loud.
I want to be demagnetized.

And then hope arrives.
In a webpage that says
‘Hello Friend, meet white noise.
And grey and pink
And brown.’

I plug in my headphones
and immerse myself in a static buzz.
The whooshing sounds build my walls,
I see lips move, I don’t hear what they’re saying –
joy doubled with the Pink Floyd reference.
And just like that,
I create an island
in a crowd.

Photo by Anthony DeRosa from Pexels

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