A Generation Later, Still No Talk of Dust
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
And now on this Monday in May, two minutes of something we usually do not talk about.
(Soundbite of music)
Unidentified Woman #1: Dust is...
Unidentified Man #1: I'm not sure where it comes from, but my living room is full of it, if you'd like some.
Unidentified Woman #1: Dust.
Unidentified Man #1: I think it sneaks in at night...
Unidentified Woman #1: Dust.
Unidentified Man #1: ...when no one's watching.
Unidentified Woman #1: Dust is little pieces of stuff, and it...
Unidentified Man #2: ...comes from underneath my bed.
Unidentified Man #3: Doesn't seem to be any more of it under the bed than on the shelves and all over the cat and...
Unidentified Woman #1: Great big balls of dust will sometimes form, especially very near the source of where dust is made.
Unidentified Man #4: In camp, we used to talk about dust ghosts.
Unidentified Woman #1: Or dust bunnies, I think, is what my mother called them, cat balls or something.
Unidentified Man #5: I can't remember. I was in basic training one time. Woolly bear? Is that it?
Unidentified Man #4: A hair ball. That's easy. It's a hair ball.
Unidentified Woman #1: Cat paws. But I don't call them that.
Unidentified Man #6: Where does it come from?
Unidentified Man #7: You know on screens, there are all these little holes in screens? Well, it grows.
Unidentified Man #8: Toenail clippings and people scratching their heads mostly. Predominantly, that's where most of it comes from. Yes. Mm-hmm.
Unidentified Woman #2: It actually comes from the stars.
Unidentified Woman #3: Well, when it rains, all the moisture goes out of the air, so there's dust left over.
Unidentified Woman #4: But how does it get to the sky?
Unidentified Man #9: God, I hate it.
Unidentified Woman #5: When dust gets out to the rest of the room...
Unidentified Woman #6: Sometimes they're little hairy dust balls. That dust is smaller.
Unidentified Man #10: You know, and there's, like, little wispy balls and stuff.
Unidentified Woman #1: Three dust balls, and you'll get all kinds of carpet fur in them, but you'll find the big dust under the bed where it's manufactured.
Unidentified Woman #7: No matter where you look, no matter what country, no matter what language they speak, they always have...
Unidentified Man #11: Dust is...
Unidentified Man #12: ...what fairies make.
Unidentified Man #13: Dust is the ash of life.
Unidentified Woman #8: Think of it as seeds. Each dust is to be broken down and later reborn in some other form.
Unidentified Man #14: Dust is a series of decompositions.
Unidentified Woman #9: The remnants of a former, more structured existence.
Unidentified Man #1: Dust is leftover stuff, and it comes from things that are gone away, and that's all there is left.
Unidentified Man #15: ...is dust.
CHADWICK: Dust. Those voices collected almost 25 years ago by DAY TO DAY's Steve Proffitt and former NPR recording engineer Lorraine Wilcox.
DAY TO DAY continues. I'm Alex Chadwick.