I Want to Live In Writerland

Embracing silence in a world of noise

Todd Brison


Image purchased by the author via iStock

Lately, I’ve been listening to the High School Musical soundtrack a lot. Some bro on Instagram said it would make me live longer.

You’re thinking “oh yeah. That song ‘We’re All In This Together,’ right?” No. The deep tracks.


Can I Have this Dance.


I listened to HSM 2 in its entirety even though everyone knows that aside from Corbyn Bleu’s baseball diamond dance, the movie is total garbage.

Usually, the pop hits play in my headphones as I take my morning walk around town. This morning, in the middle of Everyday, I felt a fuming desire for silence.

I paused the music, took one deep breath, looked up at a maple tree, and started to cry.

Instead of the dulcet, studio-altered tones of Zac Efron, I heard…

934 birds screaming about the sunrise. A power saw spinning through brick at the old post office. Tires crunching on asphalt as commuters checked another drive off the calendar. The soft click of streetlights shutting off.

I felt…

The grit of my fingerprints rubbing against one another. My orange and blue Karhu shoes scuffling along the concrete. Discarded airpods thumping against my thigh. This odd tongue sitting awkwardly behind my molars. (Never think about your tongue too much, by the way.)

I smelled…

First, cigarettes from the rehab center across the street. Later, honeysuckle.

I saw…

A house numbered “700 1/2.” Georgia the golden retriever sticking her nose out of the window. Some stray cat sleeping in a dog pen. Two people — are they a couple or just co-workers? — stepping out of a blue Prius, pulling out work bags and packages and coffee. Our town’s 7-foot American flag flapping proudly in the wind above Main Street. It looks much more picturesque against the morning light than it does on the news.

But then, a lot of ideals look better than reality.

Here’s another sound bite I picked up on the Internet: