“Will you listen to me,” I screamed.
“I heard every word you said,” my petulant child replied.
“Yes, I know you heard me. I’m yelling. But you’re not listening.”
How many of us really appreciate the difference between hearing and listening? Being able to process audible sound is not the same as filtering the noise through our brain cells.
In writing, I strive to take the reader away from the words and into my world. I want to tap into the memory cell of the person sharing my story and hope he can smell the wild lavender he can not see, but sense the aroma that has seduced him from behind a copse of rain-soaked pines.
I want him to stand on a rocky, quartz-riddled outcrop in northern Ontario and hear the thunderous cracks as the lake seizes, reverses, the bottom inverting and beating against the crust until the ice surrenders and spring break-up begins.
When he reads about the early morning cicadas, I don’t want to explain how these insects rub their legs together on hot days. I want my reader to feel the heat, the humidity that creeps over my scene and hope he will wipe away the beads of sweat forming on his brow.
I really don’t want to tell my anonymous reader about this experience, I want him to push through and dance the tango, take me in his arms and become aroused under a tropical moon.
I am flirting, seducing and encouraging you to listen. Come here. Come closer, I’m whispering. Back off—I’m cursing, hollering and begging for mercy.
Before you walked into my world this morning, you were just another commuter, entering the subway for the tedious half-hour ride to work. Today you are lucky, you found a seat, escaped the jostle and jiggle of strangers whose touch is repugnant and impersonal. The window seat will allow you to ride the train and glance at the scenery. Protected by glass you can observe what is happening in your city to other people. But then, you opened my book. I made no introductions, I assumed you knew me and I allowed you to be a voyeur, sensing, touching and living my life.
You missed your stop; you’ll be late for work.
copyright © 2014
♦ After a thirty year career as a sales and marketing executive, Ingrid Thomson is a top-ranked author in a website writing community and a published short story author who is working on the final draft of her first novel.
♦ This author's generous contributions help make P&S possible.