The worst sound I had the misfortune to hear occurred a few months back. I was driving down the street, at the speed limit, when I looked ahead and saw a rambunctious dog jostle with his owner on the sidewalk. Then, so suddenly I barely had time to step on the brake, the dog darted into the road. I hit the brake and turned the wheel, but I still heard the horrible scrabble-thump! in the vicinity of my front right wheel well. I knew what that meant, and I let out a yell of horror at what I’d done to this dog.
Fortunately, I saw the dog bound away up the sidewalk in my rearview mirror. The dog’s owner approached and looked at me sympathetically as I lowered my window. “It’s okay,” he said. “The dog’s fine. Everything’s fine. You can drive on.” So, I did. The dog did appear to be fine, but I’ve never forgotten that day, nor that sound.
Another horrible sound that I heard occurred earlier this week, when I noticed a smudge on my glasses and swiped them off to wipe them clean on a towel. As I worked the towel over my lenses, I heard a distinct “crunch!” which I suspect is similar to what breaking bones sound like. I froze, and looked at my glasses, which were still obscured by the towel. A horrible certainty rose in me that my evening was basically ruined. And, sure enough, the frames had snapped clean in two. The glasses were only eighteen months old.
Fortunately, I had spares. Unfortunately, they were on their last legs and were hurting my ears within minutes. Fortunately, Hakim Optical was open the next day and were able to salvage the lenses of my broken glasses into some decent frames. Unfortunately, that cost money, but I was just grateful to be able to see again without pain.
As horrible sounds go, I know there are worse ones. But these are sounds that I’ll always remember, whether I want to or not.
In better news, I have now started going regularly to the gym again. I’ve talked more about this in my latest column in the Kitchener Post.