‘Although I only hear sounds, the rich dialogue and background noise make this other world feel real’
We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it.
A new adventure begins every time I play This American Life, a popular radio program. I may be jogging on the elliptical or biking on a dirt path, but I am now immersed in my own world. I become a traveler, exploring eccentric corners all over the world from the Brautigan library to the wind telephone in Japan.
Although I only hear sounds, the rich dialogue and background noise make this other world feel real. Besides visiting new places, some episodes take me back to childhood. Memories of my long-forgotten obsession with ghosts come back alive when I hear the boys at summer camp scream “BLOODY MARY!” The fun I get from listening to these simple and lighthearted moments doesn’t end there. As I picture a cop’s failed attempt to capture a squirrel, I try to restrain my feelings of schadenfreude, but I end up roaring in laughter.
No matter what the topic is, the episodes all help me relax. My hectic life comes to a temporary halt when the prologue begins. I engage with the story in different ways, whether it is having imaginary conversations or relating to the character’s emotions. As the story reaches its climax, I keep asking myself what will happen in the end. After the episode ends, I return to reality, but the powerful effects of storytelling still captivate me. I can’t stop thinking of the fascinating plot and interesting people. Wanting to refresh my mind, I can't wait to listen to the next story.