The Sounds of Corona

The first time I ever registered that something as mundane as silence could potentially rattle your cage, was when my impressionable adolescent ears were deflowered with the Sound of Silence—what a moment in time that was. Simon and Garfunkel have ever since remained in my life, on a loop, at different times for various reasons.

Before you go onto thinking that this is some sob story post about that once-in-a-lifetime type of song, let me alert you to the fact that it ain’t so. So if you chose to turn the screen off at this point, no hard feelings. Go right ahead! 

But, if you stay to read, just past this first sentence, I promise you that it’ll be worth every pixel your pupils will lay their eyes on. 

Silence was the first really BIG word I registered during the eight solid months of lockdown. I’m sure many of you felt the din when the wretched vehicles went off the roads. The only sounds punctuating the silence were that of birds going about their business early in the morning. At least that’s what most people would recall, right? 

But wait, for me, there was one additional sound that punctuated the silence. But before I get to that, I need to set a little context. If you know where I live, you will also know that we are the butt of many a joke for the song after which our community is christened. It is so phenomenally unique that not even the postal department requires the full address. All one needs to do is refer to the song made famous in the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. All I’ll say is that where I live is uniquely different from most other places you might’ve visited. However, it does share one thing in common with most other community types of dwellings–shared walls. 

We are somewhat lucky, or are we? I’ll let you decide that as you read on. I say lucky because most other places minus independent living, share different walls with their neighbours. Some share a kitchen wall while others the bedroom, the living room, the ceiling, the floor, but in our case, the only shared wall between neighbours is that of the bathroom.

Ah! There, I gotcha! You are already rubbing your hands together like a wicked villain from a wild western waiting for all that masala to spew. 

So what was this additional sound that punctuated my silence? Are you ready to hear it? Because that’s precisely what it was–an acoustic sound.

They were farts: farts, a.k.a flatulence, gas, or toots.

Imagine this–you wake up early morning, all groggy and misty-eyed, peering through your half-open eyes, squinting across the room to walk yourself to the bathroom because well, that’s what humans do when they wake up.

And why do we put ourselves through this morning misery? 

So that we can get to answer nature’s call in the throne room. Yeah, baby. It’s called the throne room for a reason! Think about it, when you exit after your morning perfunctory duties, you feel on top of the world, ready to take the day head-on. 

Here’s where you hear a screeching halt, slamming on the brakes sound.

My morning is never so! You ask why?

My morning isn’t so because I have to hear as per the Fart Dictionary’s definition, a symphonic, Dear Abbey kind of fart even before my dainty eyes have had a chance to fly open. 

So what does a symphonic, Dear Abbey fart mean in the fart world? In this case, a symphonic, Dear Abbey fart is a fart in stereo mode amplified by uncomfortable unrest to your entire household. If one could put a Facebook, like sign on it, it would be shared and liked by billions of people you’ve never met.

So my silence is not just punctuated, it is hollowed out, and my entire being is akin to Speedy Gonzales on a bag of habanero peppers. I’m bolting from the door but stuck in a time loop of sorts since nature has its own wicked joke to play on cold wintery gasy mornings. 

So the lyrics of the song goes something like this now:

Hello, my gassy ol’ friend

You’ve come to blow me out again.

Because a smell so softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in your drain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence

If you feel brave enough to share the sounds that punctuated your silence, I’ll be more than happy to learn. Do leave me your comments. 

“One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them…”

A long time ago, I picked out a ring
meant to be worn on the left ring finger.
The ring will leave a band of white
under its glistening silver belly

An undiscriminating kind of white
that fought to remain on the wearer’s finger
long after the unassailable metal had worn down
But, alas! The ring remains weighed down in a box.

Pinned beneath old keys and unused coins
Nailed down to abandoned dreams
Tossed beside old paper jottings
of discarded phone numbers

With no place or purpose anymore
The ring recalls the promise of a smithy–
A dead weight can be forged into a
dazzling circlet of no past or future