‘Maria Spends 20 Minutes Folding Towels’: Why Millions Are Mesmerised By ASMR Videos

“We’re all hugely different in what we find relaxing”, says Nicholas, AKA PaperWhispers. Fans claim these repetitive moments, often accompanied by white noise, create a ‘tingle’ […] – The Independent, 21st July, 2012

Steeling myself against the bald
itch of idleness,
impatient for the wave to fold
its weight beneath the crest,

I try to picture Nicholas,
his unrest cured, it seems,
by napkin-folding: motionless
in the light of his laptop screen,

lulled by the sight of two slim hands
floating above a desk
where rows of foam-white breakers land;
effortless, weightless, blessed.

On a lean scrap of rough sand lined
with trash, as fat gulls pilfer
chips, I listen to the kind
of moments he would kill for:

static, on the verge of silence.
The whistle, grind and crack
of feet on shingle, bright and toneless.
The pop of bladderwrack.

Elsewhere, the ghosts of serviettes
attract their clicks and hits,
as strange, remote and meaningless
as these slow waves, this mist.

Dearest reader! Our newsletter!

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest content, freebies, news and competition updates, right to your inbox. From the oldest literary periodical in the UK.

You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or directly on info@thelondonmagazine.org. Find our privacy policies and terms of use at the bottom of our website.