Cicadas

I went for a walk this evening to see the sunset. I was trying to escape the feeling of being boxed up by the squares of the computer screens that were present all day. As I returned from my walk there was a lone woman on the swings, swinging high as adults tend to do. There were no children on the playground, no one else around at all.

I stopped on the other side of the park and stretched. There was still colour in the sky. The evening was warm, and noisy. I hated the squeal of car tires and the sound of engines revving. The background hum of traffic was so loud that I felt it pressing in on me. The trams were ok, clattering down the hill two blocks away. The sounds of the cars made me tense.

I sat down on the grass and changed the tone of my listening, and I heard the cicadas. They comforted me. They sounded as though they were trying to drown out the noise, as though they too could not bear it. I heard them, and they grew louder as I listened.

The girl stopped swinging and walked away. After a while I got up and crossed the park to the swing set. The swing she had left still moved slightly. I swung high into the sky. The colour was fading. After a while a man and two small boys approached. The larger of the boys offered the spare swing to the little one, and the little one took it. After a moment I jumped off my swing, and ran away across the grass.

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