the man said to Kristen and said nothing else. She did not understand. When she tried to say something he interrupted her with a gesture. She sat, but there was nothing to hear as he was not talking and they were alone in the room. She thought about where she would go after the sitting, then he spoke again.
I am listening she thought without saying a word, but there is nothing to listen to, then she heard some sound from afar, people talking in the street, this is what I should listen to, she thought. Voices came and went, too low to hear distinctively through the open window.
Listen, do you hear it?
I do not know what I am supposed to hear, how can I tell you if I hear it?
You will know it when you hear it.
Kristen’s back grew restless and started aching, she could not sit still any more. At every move she made the man said
He did not move and found solace in what he mysteriously heard. Voices would bounce inside Kristen’s head. She would try to escape the sitting by following them, out of the room and into the store and then back home and again out and again to the store and again back home and again out, her mind occupied while her body grew restless. She would move, for her back ached and her mind urged her to get up and leave. She would instruct her muscles to stand but her legs would not move.
She felt he could hear what was going on inside her head and felt ashamed. She felt like he could see her naked of a different kind of nakedness, an embarrassing one, where one would pretend to be doing something, while doing something else altogether, and what she or her mind were doing was not something that was to be publicly revealed, it was something shameful.
She smiled but her muscles were tense, her hands closed and she confused the sounds coming from outside from the sounds of her head and not one of those sounds appeared to be the one he was suggesting she listened to. When he raised she could barely lift herself. He helped her get up and walk until they reached the door.
Kristen said while the voice in her mind questioned the reason she was thanking the man as her body was aching and she heard nothing and he taught her nothing, pointed out no sound in particular, instructed her in no particular way, just sat there and said