tin can audio

If you must know anything about me, know this: I despise the sound of YouTube out of a device. Music is fine because the audio is the number one concern of music--that it be crystal and lovely and...musical. But talkers. Vloggers. God forbid--youtubers. I hate their audio. It is a clashing, discordant cymbal. Tin can audio.


Get your headphones. Turn it down.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
I'm my grandmother after all.

Today, Dan was listening to a tutorial on making a website. As the holder of a website, I make myself inconspicuous as I stir oils and blend scents because it is not any fun to build and if he wants to learn, we'll then I say--have at it.

The sound coming out of the phone is one I am actively tuning out. He is not a child. I am neither his mother, nor his teacher, so I attempt to find if the compromise is within me. And, for the most part, it is. As I said, he's leaving soon and there is no reason to make "a storm in a tea cup" as my mother would say, a big deal out of a small thing. And sometimes that is how you love someone.

But then. He does a strange thing. He walks away from his phone and gets ready to leave. The video on his phone is still going on the living room--the echo-ey, horrid, bee buzz of a voice--still hosting a tutorial ten feet away, droning on and on, "Then click this button right here..."

And "right here" is a place Dan cannot see because he is standing in the kitchen finding his keys. And I say to him, "Is this the part you already know how to do?" Or something like that. Something to attempt to understand this moment which escapes me.

"Huh? Uh...yeah," he says, "he's showing how to build a website."

"And do you understand this part?" I ask. All laid back, all neutral energy. Stirring, stirring. Measuring. Blending.

"No, but he's doing a step-by-step tutorial."

"...but...how will you know what he is talking about when he says 'click here' if you aren't looking at the screen?"

He says, "Well, I don't."

And we are just standing there, toe to toe in the kitchen, mysterious to each other. Booted he, towering over sock-footed me. He with a water bottle. Me with a spatula.

And looking up at him I say, "So you are just torturing me with this sound that you are not even paying attention to?"

A micro silence fell and I watched his eyes. I swear in those seconds I saw him consider, and then discard, a thousand responses. Things he could say. Things he could not say. Things I also do that are annoying. A rebuttal. A retort. A comment that I could take the wrong way or the right.

"N-no. I wasn't meaning to," he eventually said, "but it is a nice little bonus."

I burst out laughing.
And so did he.
And sometimes that is how you love someone.💙


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