When I was 8, I heard through the wall that my mother had cancer. We were a tight-lipped family and didn’t like to worry one another; my parents were more likely to let information trickle out through behavioral changes than to give straight talk. Keeping ourselves very quiet in front of closed doors was how my brothers and I learned the things we knew, so I stood completely still, clinging to the details she delivered via landline telephone, preparing myself for the ways my life was about to change.
Eavesdropping, I learned, unlocked what my parents chose to leave unexplained — suddenly I understood why, when I came home from school, a pair of pastel Gap overalls I’d coveted were lying across my bed; or why sugar cereals suddenly got a green light at the grocery store. When my mother died, two years later, it was a shock, but I had some kid-level idea of what had happened, based on the information I’d collected.
Once I started eavesdropping, I couldn’t stop: The lives of other people distracted me from my own. I heard women admonishing their children and imagined what my own mother might say to me; I heard people break up and get back together; I heard people meet for the first time; I heard people fight. And I still listen in, all the time. I’m not exactly subtle. No matter where I am or what I’m talking about, when I hear some other conversation worth tuning in to, I lose all ability to focus and lend my ears to the table next to me. When I hear a man lament that his husband forgot to pick up basil on his way home, I want to shout, “Just add a little extra rosemary!” But I don’t. I stay composed and keep my comments to myself.
We’re all going inward. Advice columns suggest we meditate, do hours of vinyasa, journal our rose, bud, thorns and invest in expensive skin care as part of the practice of self-care. In therapy, I free-associate for an entire hour a week, linking emotions and events, trying to make sense of what’s inside. But there’s a danger in focusing too much on yourself: you risk losing the certainty that you’re not alone. Being too much in your own body can make you obsessive about your own problems, causing you to lose the ability to understand the scale of your own life compared with the lives of others.
Eavesdropping, however, helps you rejoin the world. People speak openly and honestly when they think no one is listening. When they talk about their issues with someone else, they go deeper than they would go on their own. You can compare your own life, then, with an unfiltered and honest rendering. It’s the ultimate vanity check: you’re not one in a million; you’re one of the millions.
Listening situates us in community in times when we can feel unmoored, helping us understand that everyone is fighting their own battle. Once, over breakfast with my dad, in a city where we were both taking refuge from a Gulf Coast hurricane, I heard a woman laughing the way only angry people laugh, with a kind of incredulity I immediately understood to be directed at whatever the man sitting across from her had just said. I was sorry to have missed it; I was a teenager and had never been in a fight fraught with romantic tension, so I stood to learn something. The man said, “O.K., maybe it was a bad idea to ask you to meet me,” and then she said, “Yeah, I think it was.”
They sat like that in silence for a moment, and when I tuned back in to my dad, I noticed that he was also listening for something to end the silence at the adjacent table. The silence was unnerving. My dad started to say something, but the man spilled a glass of water, and it landed all over the lap of the woman across from him. She got up and stormed away, just as a waitress carried over two plates of huevos rancheros.
“I’ve been there,” my dad said to me, very softly. Then we heard the waitress offer to comp the breakfasts. The whole restaurant had been there, and suddenly everything — our evacuation hundreds of miles from home, the promise of future romantic turmoil — seemed safer.
I’ve been in many writing workshops where the question “Is it relatable?” is asked to qualify whether a piece of writing is or isn’t yet a work of art. It’s not a bad question, but you can relate to things without having to read — instead, you can just pretend to read in a crowded coffee shop, and let the universe give you real problems to think about. Hearing something privately relayed to someone else gives you the opportunity to investigate it as if it were your own. What’s said under the guise of privacy is inherently more true than what’s meant for others to hear — a perfectly distilled bit of human life ready to be worked through and learned from.
Listening, authorized or unauthorized, helps us put things in perspective. Eavesdropping is an act of give and take, of validation and denial. What does it matter that I missed the train at 23rd Street if the man on the phone as I walked to 14th street was battling his insurance company after a near-fatal car accident on his way upstate? It would make me feel guilty if it didn’t prove what I already knew: that one day it will be me on the phone, pacing along the sidewalk, trying to recover what’s lost. No one is exempt from playing these roles, just as no one is exempt from being surreptitiously listened to while playing them.
Eavesdropping on the man on the phone, I think about how lucky I am. For now, my only problem is that I’ve missed the train.B:
【讲】【着】【把】【徐】【恒】【抱】【起】【来】【便】【往】【卧】【房】【走】。 “【等】【一】【下】，”【宋】【林】【径】【直】【拦】【住】【我】，【把】【徐】【恒】【活】【生】【生】【自】【我】【怀】【中】【抱】【过】【去】，【径】【直】【递】【于】【张】【嫂】，【命】【令】【道】，“【张】【嫂】【你】【瞧】【下】【小】【孩】，【我】【有】【事】【儿】【要】【谈】。” 【随】【后】【捉】【着】【我】【的】【手】【掌】【腕】【儿】，【把】【我】【拽】【到】【了】【卧】【房】【中】。 “【你】【放】【手】！”【我】【手】【腕】【儿】【上】【一】【阵】【生】【痛】，【忿】【忿】【地】【瞠】【着】【他】。 【宋】【林】【径】【直】【闭】【上】【卧】【房】【的】【门】，【紧】【忙】【放】【开】【手】
【天】【庭】，【瑶】【池】【仙】【境】 【昊】【天】【与】【瑶】【池】【看】【着】【不】【远】【处】【悬】【浮】【着】【的】【昊】【天】【镜】，【昊】【天】【一】【副】【淡】【然】【表】【情】，【对】【于】【镜】【中】【所】【呈】【现】【的】【画】【面】【并】【不】【在】【意】，【但】【瑶】【池】【却】【不】【一】【样】，【虽】【然】【也】【神】【色】【平】【静】，【但】【眼】【中】【却】【闪】【过】【一】【丝】【凝】【重】【之】【色】，【显】【然】【是】【对】【镜】【中】【画】【面】【十】【分】【在】【意】。 【这】【镜】【中】【的】【画】【面】【正】【是】【花】【果】【山】【的】【所】【在】，【早】【在】【牛】【魔】【王】、【蛟】【魔】【王】【他】【们】【前】【往】【花】【果】【山】【之】【时】，【便】【已】【然】【被】【天】【庭】【探】【知】福彩3d322开奖结果【已】【经】【好】【多】【天】【没】【写】【了】，【最】【近】【一】【直】【在】【看】【小】【说】，【把】【之】【前】【养】【着】【的】【一】【堆】【小】【说】【看】【了】【个】【爽】。【比】【较】【官】【方】【的】【说】【法】【就】【是】【作】【者】【在】【采】【风】【找】【灵】【感】【之】【类】【的】。 【但】【由】【于】【小】【说】【看】【多】【了】，【造】【成】【思】【绪】【上】【有】【点】【混】【乱】，【我】【已】【经】【忘】【了】【自】【己】【想】【要】【写】【什】【么】【了】。 【这】【个】【很】【抱】【歉】~！ 【不】【过】【现】【在】【也】【确】【实】【没】【有】【什】【么】【写】【作】【的】【欲】【望】，【不】【想】【勉】【强】【自】【己】，【所】【以】【打】【算】【停】【一】【段】【时】【间】【再】【说】。
【言】【虎】（**【南】）【突】【然】【回】【过】【神】【来】，【回】【过】【神】【来】【时】【心】【里】【也】【是】【如】【汹】【涌】【的】【波】【涛】【一】【般】。 【精】【神】【上】【的】【放】【松】【确】【实】【令】【他】【干】【了】【件】【本】【能】【使】【然】【的】【事】【情】——【他】【突】【然】【地】【将】【她】【的】【小】【拇】【指】【咬】【了】【一】【口】。 【单】【就】“【咬】【小】【拇】【指】”【这】【事】【儿】【本】【身】【来】【讲】，【确】【实】【没】【什】【么】【值】【得】【吃】【惊】【的】。【但】【巧】【就】【巧】【在】“【咬】【手】【指】”【这】【件】【事】【儿】【却】【是】**【南】【和】【雷】【慎】【晚】【之】【间】【相】【处】【的】【小】【秘】【密】、【小】【癖】【好】。
【坐】【在】【寂】【静】【岭】【小】【世】【界】【内】【一】【栋】【房】【子】【的】【楼】【顶】，【愣】【愣】【的】【欣】【赏】【着】【神】【秘】【且】【魔】【幻】【的】【夜】【景】，【这】【小】【世】【界】【竟】【然】【也】【有】【白】【天】【黑】【夜】【之】【分】，【只】【是】【昼】【夜】【转】【换】【相】【当】【迅】【速】，【大】【约】【两】【小】【时】【就】【会】【转】【换】【一】【次】。 【现】【在】【正】【处】【于】【夜】【幕】【笼】【罩】【之】【下】，【虽】【说】【现】【在】【是】【夜】【晚】，【四】【周】【也】【没】【什】【么】【路】【灯】【照】【明】，【可】【整】【个】【小】【世】【界】【却】【一】【点】【也】【不】【黑】。 【随】【着】【夜】【幕】【降】【临】【天】【空】【中】【那】【些】【类】【似】【于】【阳】【光】【的】【金】【色】