Sounds that Suck

Nails on a chalkboard, boardroom jargon and other office-like comments, commentary about the war from celebrity kids, kids sucking food off their fingers, fingers squishing in hamburger meat, meeting people for the first time and hearing yourself sound fake, fake Brooklyn or South African accents, “accents” when used in describing decor, “decor” when said aloud, a loud person at a concert who doesn’t know the words, words like “belly,” and “gentle,” gentle whispers, whispers period, period films where the actors speak in British accents even when they are meant to be living in ancient Greece, greasy pan noises in dish soap commercials, com- mercial radio voice-over talent, “talent” when used to describe a person- especially when preceded by the word “the,” the word Caribbean when pronounced Caribbeean, “Caribbeean Queen” by Billy Ocean, ocean waves “lapping,” lap patting—as if to say “sit here”—unless the patter is one’s father, fathers crying, crying cats while you’re trying to sleep it off, off the cuff “thank you” speech lists, lists, lists with titles that suck, “suck,” sucky pop music with no heart, heartbeat-like throbbing in one’s head just before having to speak in public, public speaking.

Lisa Di Nanno is a graduate student at Boston College department of Romance Languages and Literatures. She is a diehard music fan and she is currently working on a collection of short stories.