Every so often there is a sound you hear to which you cannot trace an origin. You scan the air, sniff for a reason, but like sand through an open hand, truth evades you. Every so often there is a sound you hear, to which you cannot trace an origin. But that could scarcely matter, because every so often, you surrender your search for a reason. The sound would pester you like an obstinate wart on your face. It would wail somewhere near your head, and sometimes when you aren’t looking; it would laugh.

It isn’t a mysterious sound. It doesn’t try to be. And mostly, when tired of the lifeless vacuum of thought surrounding it; it would sputter and cough; you would look around. Surely someone is ill. The servants would be summoned. Enquiries would be made; and slowly like an unkempt garden, the plants of thoughts would grow into each other, tumbling over one another in its shadow of space. After a confused shake of head from each of the servants; you would then ask again; bewildered. Didn’t anybody cough? I am sure I heard it.

But doubt, like the inevitable weed in your unkempt garden, would entwine itself over your questions. I must have imagined it. Yes, that is probable; and again a dismissive hand gesture, a nervous laugh; the cough is forgotten.

the untraced sounds

But like every so often you hear a sound, to which an origin is uncertain; every so often, it gets louder. Sometimes it can be heard over the dull murmurs of your brain. Sometimes it sneaks mischievously under a closet, sometimes in it. Sometimes you hear it come out muffled; suffocated-like it was struggling to be heard through the bundle of old clothes lying carelessly in your laundry basket.

 You walk around the room casually. Looking under your bed, in your clothes. You would open your books, and look between pages; as if it was not just an untraced sound any longer, it was now an old lovers rose, pressed between pages of your favourite book, waiting to be forgotten.

Under the clink of the china on the dinner table and the polite laughter of guests on a Saturday night, that little sound would sit, seemingly unnoticed, beneath the laced covers of the table; in the wrinkles of the curtains and once you would swear you saw it crawl out, dazed, from the bosom of your well-endowed female friend; engaged to the laughter of her husband. But some things never change. The china would be stacked up at the end of the night; water still dripping like the snot from a baby. And later in the night, when you would sit in your bedroom in the dark, unable to sleep, unable to wake, in a kind of restless sleepless slumber, you would try to recollect a solitary moment of bewilderment during the evening.

You would recollect the bosom of the friend, but the subsequent confusion that had arisen in your mind because of that goddamn sound, would be happily forgotten. And so the state of things would remain.

Every so often a sound is heard, to which the origin is sadly unknown. It cries, it laughs, it cajoles, it scolds and sometimes in its constant worry of being remembered; it whispers. Every so often the sound speaks a language you had forgotten a long time ago, still residing in its childhood snatches of lost toys, sandcastles and a summer that would never end.

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