I have taken a break to grab some lunch. A small Chinese restaurant. A family of four sits across from me, one table ahead.
This is the family that typifies an average – a mother, a father, both middle aged, a daughter of late teens, a son nearly a teen or recently so.
Each eats without word, but the only silence is among them. Within each there is a shield of sound. Each has headphones on. Earbuds, full phones, hangers, and, for the father, Bluetooth speakers reminiscent of Uhura at the communications console on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. Each is listening to music. It bleeds beyond the headphones and earbuds, mixes into a pandemonic of sounds. Loud enough to carry the treble to my table of each individual island at theirs, as they listen, look down, fork, plate, food, mouth, plate, food, mouth, down, up, down, up, wordless, silent.