I Don’t Know It When I Hear It

I heard a noise, familiar,  but I couldn’t quite place it… something electronic?  Not a beeping though, the sound of something in the process of doing something, slightly mechanical, but subtle, delicate…

I stopped to listen, turning my head from side to side, like a puzzled dog, trying to both locate it in space and categorize it in my mind…

I was standing in the bathroom, the one room in my house mostly free of electronic clutter, other than the nose hair trimmer, so this sound was definitely out of place. My bathroom sounds were more… biological in nature, mostly gurglings and the sounds of things escaping from other things.

Then my mind clicked, in a metaphorical sense, and I recognized it. A CD player, the trilling sound it makes just before it starts playing , a whirring, twirling sound, scurrying like a squirrel in a cage, running with moccasins on  carpet… A sound that will go on and on if the CD is dirty or defective, until you clean it or give up and move on to another CD.

Pleased with myself for figuring it out, I then realized that there was no CD player near, not one within twenty feet of where I stood, slouching thoughtfully in my underwear, facing the large bathroom mirror.

I looked quizzically at myself, idly and unsuccessfully trying to ignore my alarming roll of stomach fat and scandalous patch of fur on my stomach, both of which appeared, like an unexpected gift, at age 35. Had someone hidden a CD player in the bathroom? There was no way in hell I was going to search the room for a hidden CD player, like a panicky movie character searching for a bomb. None of this took into account the motive for someone, anyone, to conceal a CD player. In my bathroom.

A puzzler, indeed. But I was almost certain there was no player here. So what was the sound?

I stood for a while longer, tiring of the guessing game, jiggering my head about like a bobble head, when I figured it out. It was an insect, making a low trilling sound, right outside the bathroom window. For a brief moment I thought about going out there, to see if I could find it. A locust perhaps, or a cricket?

And I wondered… was it CD player shaped? Not in the literal sense, but maybe kind of flat and slightly rounded, some small orifices that could pass for headphone inputs, a glittering silvery back… but it was hot out there, even this early, too hot for idle searching. So the CD bug was going to have to continue it’s electronic song unobserved…

Maybe at some point in its chitinous life, when it got old enough or wise enough, it would fully engage and at last play the song it was on the verge of playing…

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