I adjudge myself brat and irritated by the slightest inconvenience. Noise, smoke, perfume, waiting and people not paying attention, I am provoked. Shrill voices screeching on the radio, chatter, booming phone conversations, the same words repeatedly chanted on my ear. Pollution like poison slowly wafting into my lungs. And perfume, the smell of after-shave or shampoo, I cannot stand. Waiting, while salesgirls and managers bid their sweet time and waste away mine. And me, having to repeat what I say, two times, three, right after I have said it, and, again a week or month after. I feel my senses suddenly overwhelmed. Trounced on by a little more than what should be. I want to scamper away, pinch my nose, mask the scent with my own blend, shout and have a tantrum. I cannot simply have a dose of too much. What I should have is an excess of birdsong, or the hush of the sea, or too much lavender and orange, or even waste away time writing or reading poetry. And why can’t people hear me? I sense my voice lost to the mind’s bantering, mobile phones, twitters, and YouTube videos and ears forever plugged with earphones. We waste time, we waste time, we waste so much time on the screen. And we are filled to excess with all things that are not real. As though we want to escape our real life, our real world and the man or woman right next to us. Just today I walked in the park and had to keep my ears open to hear a bird chirping. I didn’t even hear one tweet. And yet there were hundreds of tweets waiting for me on my screen and I spent hours there instead. And, in this excess of stimulation, I grope, finding my voice, and yours too. I have been having bad allergies this past week with my hay fever back, as though I was 14 again, and everything outside is making me break out in hives.
In Search of Holy Places