With the new macOS Monterey update, my left AirPods had stopped working. It synced fine with the phone, worked okay (kind of) while using apps like Facetime, but every-time I played anything on my Mac, I felt I was partially deaf. Now, does partially deaf mean you hear sounds at a slightly higher decibel than normal people or does it mean you hear them through just one ear? I don’t know! The point is, I felt disabled for a few hours during the day.
I live next to one of the great lakes. It’s beautiful for long walks, bird watching, jogging, raves, dates, pot smoking, skating, picnics, salsa, open air gym classes, dog walking … just about every leisure activity you can imagine in a crowded city. I often sit at the edge, legs dangling over blue water that splashes against the cemented wall. The same water often appears green or in hues of yellow. It all depends on what time of the day it is and how hard you squint at it. If the moonlight falls over the tiny waves, it looks like a painting of twirling straight yellow lines, but if you look at it during a bright sunny day, the blue gets bluer. Whenever I am close to the water, my first instinct is to make sure my phone and my keys are buried deep in my pocket. I am terrified of losing my essentials. I don’t know how deep it will go. I have no point of reference. All I know is that swimming in that water is a crime.
I am usually responsible with my belongings. I have never lost my wallet or phones or keys. In fact I offer to carry other people’s important stuff on party nights, because a.) I have large pockets with zippers b.) I have a border line OCD. The kinds where you unlock the door and lock it again even though you know, you have already locked it. But I must admit, I have lost a lot of sunglasses in my life. Left them in the flights I have boarded, cafes I have stepped inside, stepped over them and broken them into pieces and once, just once, also dropped them in the ocean. The waves were high and I was standing on those porous sedimentary rocks where baby crabs in disgusting shades of white crawl all over your feet. You’d think they are spiders the way they pop in and out of those rocks, but knowing they are crabs makes them less intimidating. But I can assure you it wasn’t the crabs, I just think sunglasses aren’t that important. At least I act like they aren’t important.
So I am annoyed I couldn’t book my gym slot today. It’s 5 o’ clock in the evening, and I have lost the opportunity. I can’t beg them to take me in. Covid protocols and limited slots. Blah! Come next day, they say. So I decide I’ll go for a walk, despite knowing it’s 5 degrees outside and walking near the lake isn’t as fun as it used to be during the summer. You can’t even see the familiar gaggle of geese, nor the loud seagulls, only crackheads scratching the garbage bins for some reason and Uber delivery boys on their tiny scooters.
On audible, I am listening to a book that talks about being in the moment. If you are in the moment and stay alert all the time, you develop the power of intuition. You can sense whats about to come. Baloney, I say to myself!
There is a lady walking her dogs, one is a poodle the other’s a pitbull. Weird, isn’t it? I am no dog expert, but I have a feeling the pitbull is gonna maul the poodle one day. But of course, it’s the poodle that’s more aggressive and the pitbull that’s all smiley. She looks at me, while the dogs take a leak under the tree. We are the only living beings in about twenty meter radius. The wind is chilly and I can feel an itch on the back of my head, which is under the snapback, which is under the hoodie. Hence I am lazy and I hope it goes away on its own.
You see the trailer, before the action happens. Sometimes a day before, sometimes the moments before it happens, you just need to be aware that you are watching it when you’re watching it, the narrator says.
I am staring at the water and I have an urge to throw a rock in it, for two reasons; I love the soothing plop sound it makes, and I want to see how deep it can go. The water is still and clear. I am about to pick up a rock, but I don’t. I fear if I get too close to the water, I might drop my airpods in it. Of course I have never dropped them elsewhere, so it’s crazy I even have a thought like that, but for some reason I still have the fear of dropping them today. Guess I am in the moment. Pay close attention, remember it for later, connect the dots, you will have your own story. There is always a story; there’s a trailer, there’s a movie, there’s a story and you are in it. You are always in it. The narrator is rambling on and my itch gets stronger with every word.
When the itch becomes unbearable, I remove my hoodie and give the back of my head a nice long scratch. Such a joyous moment! Should have done it half an hour ago, but it wouldn’t have been this satisfying. The Pitbull’s head is tilted; he gets it! It’s always the leak when you feel your bladder is about to burst open, the most satisfying. I put my cap back on, then the hoodie. The left AirPods drop on the ground, but of course I don’t panic, I am standing at least a meter and a half away from the edge, and it’s a flat surface. Until I find it hopping on the ground, as if it’s wearing spring shoes. Two jumps and its in the water. Because it’s white and the water is blue, I can see it drowning for very long. It indeed is pretty deep, wonder if it goes in forever. Those are my first thoughts. The dogs run after it, and the lady has to yank them back.
… And you know it when it comes full circle, you always know it. Those are the last words I hear the narrator say as the audio stops on its own.
So sorry, the lady says. The dogs can’t speak, but I am sorry they share her sentiments.
I take a picture of the widowed pair.
Since I dropped the left one right in the lake, I now have the right one left.