Recently my friend M. and I enjoyed a fantastically beautiful Chicago spring afternoon, first walking along the beach barefoot, then sitting on a rock pier with our feet dangling up over the water, talking and daydreaming and laughing.
We walked among the fluffy pink blossoming trees in the park and crossed paths with a young couple and their curly-haired little girl, who was walking ahead of them and
intermittantly screaming joyfully. The parents ineffectually shushed their daughter and gave us a "sorry she's being so loud" face. We smiled.
M. said, "Remember how great it was to be able to scream like that for
no reason at all? I wish I could do that at work." She did a mock
scream, with exasperated foot-stomping. "It would be such a healthy
said, "Yeah, and when she did it, it was so clearly just a gleeful, exhuberant, noise-making thing. It's FUN!" I threw my arms around like a
wildly un-self-conscious toddler.
"And it's SCREAMY!" M. flailed some more.
"Let's do it right now! Over there, by the water!"
We ran to the flat rock pier and sat down. We waited for a lady walking by to pass.
"Let's not freak people out."
"Yeah, we don't want a horde of people running toward us when we scream."
We counted to three. We screamed together. We leaned back in the grass and laughed.
"That was nice. But we need to do one more."
We discussed our relative definitions of "yelling" versus "screaming."
I insisted that a real, good, full-on scream is high-pitched and
blood-curdling. "Like when you're really startled, or fear bodily harm.
A real, primal distress call. A totally deep breath this time, and
scream all of your breath out."
Deep breaths. One, two, three.
We screamed long and loud and high, finishing with hysterical laughter.
"Oh, my god!"
"That was awesome!"
"I feel amazing!"
We looked up and down the pier, up and down the beach. There were people everywhere. Nobody made a move toward us in the least.