The Color of God

 Now … I would ask now that you close your eyes very tight and just listen. Please, keep your eyes closed until I ask you to open them. Listen very, very carefully .…. and imagine

The first thing you hear in this intentional darkness is the music – middle eastern music– instruments and voices.

Then you begin to hear the whirring and clacking of an old-fashioned audio cassette player, the kind they used to have in schools.

Then … in the background the smallest of sounds … the rustling of cloth and tiny murmurs. There are youngsters in the room … well behaved youngsters but youngsters none-the—less.

Click! The music stops and a man’s voice … middle eastern … firmly insists, “Is this it?”

A boy answers: “No, sir.”

The man speaks again: “Whose is this?”

A different boy’s voice: “Mine, sir.”

The man: “Come and get it.”

Clack! The sound of a tape sliding across a hard flat surface.

Click! A whir and a song plays for a bit.

The man: “Whose song is this?”

A third boys voice: “Mine.”

Clack! Silence.

Man: “Come and get it.”

 

Again and again:

Click; song; click; man; boy; clack; “Come and get it.”

Click; song; click; man; boy; clack; “Come and get it.”

Click; song; click; man; boy; clack; “Come and get it.”

Click; song; click; man; boy; clack; “Come and get it.”

 

Then, a change: click; song; ….boy!

“This is my tape sir!”

Click! The music stops.

Man: “Whose voice is this, Mohammad?”

Boy: “My Granny’s.”

 

The man places the tape into the boy’s small outstretched hand. The boy’s reach is awkward, fumbling in the air. Eyes rolling askew toward the ceiling, he doesn’t look at the cassette tape as he reaches for it. His head cocked at an odd but somehow natural angle for him, he listens, searching with his fingers … finally grasping it.1

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