Unless I count the Magnavox boombox, which lived permanently within my old television stand, I've never owned a portable music device of any kind. I don't like putting things in my ears or on my head, so I've never owned a pair of headphones. I also find that the sounds around me are often very interesting. The sound of the woman shouting at her exlover is as powerful, but not as heartwarming, as the sound of the couple kissing behind me. I turn to them and smile my secret smile.
As I ascend the stone steps leading to the green and blooming Bryant Park, the faceless vendor sings, "Ayy Emm, ayy emm, ayy emm. Get your ayy emm, ayy emm, ayy emm." Endlessly and invariably. I listen to his song, but never accept his offering.
Out among the buildings and asphalt, I like to be aware of the conversations, the footsteps, the sirens and alarms, the wind and the chirping birds. I shake my head at the angry and frustrated blur of black and white threats: "I will slap you."
Emphasis placed on the slap: "I will slap you. I will slap you. I will slap you." People are sometimes mean. My attention drifts to the rickety cart of mail being pushed down Madison Avenue.