The awkward noise (does not concern us)
The four of us walk through Neukölln. I hear a faint noise behind me. It’s a two-part sound, first it sounds like the impact of rubber or plastic on sidewalk pavement, and then the decay is a bit harder, like glass or metal on sidewalk pavement. I grab my pant pocket and turn around. But my phone is where it should be. The mobile phone of a strange cyclist lies on the ground and he is bending down for it.
My companions also seem restless. “Did you all reach for your cell phone?” I ask. “Yes!” they say. Although it was an unobtrusive and quiet noise in a noisy part of town, we all reacted to it.