Monday, August 5, 2013

The Noise behind the Noise

            I tossed and turned in bed all through the night. The noise of the nighttime world seemed amplified against the expected quiet of the early morning. Cars that badly needed exhaust repairs seemed to growl through the streets like some un-caged beasts of the wild. Motorcycles joined in the noise as if their roaring were to signal the other motorcycles of a fresh kill on the prairie.

             My ceiling fan’s blades cut through the air like wings, whooshing and whirring as the still air was circulated over my unsleeping mind.  I could hear each pulse of air as the blades spun. A rhythm of the ceiling’s fan motor turning was the background for the roar of the night life outside. Every sound seemed to have taken on a life of its own, as if they were conspiring to keep me from sleep.

             Ambulances and police car sirens echoed through the streets as a distant train rumbled and blared through a faraway darkness. The sounds seemed trapped in my bedroom, bouncing off the walls, directly into my ears. The constant noise kept my brain working, thinking, roiling with the unstoppable activities of everything happening all at once.

             I could hear the subtle murmurs of the few people walking about in this noisy world. There was faded drunken laughter, a few screams, a few cries, more laughter, and car doors slamming. I thought about all the people in my apartment building as they moved about the night; going to the bathroom, checking on unsettled children, seething over a recent argument over rent or where to live after this god forsaken noise pit.

             The building itself seemed to be a pulsar of noise. It was an antenna of the cacophony of the night; a car coming to a hard stop, the brakes screaming against the strain of squealing tires. Trucks of all sizes trampled through the night like elephants crashing through a thick jungle.  A wild, lost, noisy world without end forcing all of itself into my bedroom keeping me from the sleep I so wanted and needed.

            I didn’t want to look at the clock. I didn’t want to know what time it was. I just wanted it to be quiet so the crackling flames of my thoughts would die down enough to let me sleep. I could dream peacefully on the embers.

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