You find yourself unexpectedly moved by the department store Muzak, the sort that sounds as if it was built on those little keyboards everyone had in the eighties with electronic versions of various stringed, brass, or skinned instruments. The composition soars and the goosebumps along your arms rise with it. Standing rigid as a light sweat breaks out on your upper lip you pretend to be focussed on something off in the distance. You are, but it's in the distance of memory, not of physical space, that you are absorbed. Too loudly you comment to the cashier that it's warm in the store, hoping she will accept this as a reason for your apparent discomfort. She doesn't really see you but you're embarrassed by how you've reacted anyway.

You sit in your car for a moment, struggling between giving in to nostalgia and shaking it off, before turning the ignition. You note that it's that time of afternoon when everything becomes yellowish, when it always seems like autumn or twelve years ago. You're missing someone, something you were — young and invincible, knowing love will conquer all, believing disappointment is something that happens to other people.

You tune the radio to the Top Forty station and crank it. The generic rhythms and lyrics wash over you, pricking at your surfaces and dissipating, taking the uninvited longing with it.

fiction non-fiction poetry art sounds