Friday, May 20, 2005


As I woke after that dream (see below), I heard a low rumbling. At first, my memory took me back to New York. Even on the 43rd floor of the hotel, I could hear, or rather feel, the subway trains as the rolled past underneath the city. It's a curious sensation, but it's just one of hundreds in a noisy metropolis. I wonder how one finds peace in such crowds.

Not that Monroe is always quiet. As I type this the garbage trucks are making their rounds, their engines from afar sounding like tired elephants, too lazy to let out a real cry. Their brakes squeaking. The refuse bins clacking as hollow plastic containers and wheels hit the pavement again. Later, the construction crews will begin their daily chorus. The sounds of hammers and drills, of concrete trucks, of Mexican polka music and opera will fill the neighborhood above us that is, thankfully, quickly approaching completion. Even if these are silenced, there are always the trains passing through town day and night with their whistles warning drivers to clear the intersections. On weekends, we also have the fairgrounds a few hundred yards away where racers fill the tracks, the din of which seems to fill the skies with imaginary planes of the WWII era. In late August, the fairgrounds also plays host to a state fair and at nights the crowds are treated to the sounds of second tier stars from yesteryear. As if to emphasize their status, the sounds of those concerts reaches our house in such a way as you can hear the hits of the past, but like fading memories, you're not quite sure which hit you're hearing. Is it "The Gambler" or that duet he did with Parton? And, after the human made noises have faded, there are always the sounds of our beloved tree frogs which during spring can become so loud that you have to raise your own voice to have a conversation. Then there are the birds, the pets excited by the birds, the coyotes, hawks, geese, ducks, and more.

Still, tree frogs are preferable to car horns to my mind as are trains to subways. Monroe has it's noises, but they seem to be less intrusive. When the human noises cease, the sounds that replace them bring comfort to me. Which is why I wonder how people in New York find peace and relax. I suppose that they find their surroundings peaceful or acceptable. Perhaps, like our own heartbeats - we are never noise free, you know? - they get used to the sounds of the city. The heartbeat of the city replaces the ones in their chests and each becomes part of the natural rhythm if life.

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