Friday, November 27, 2020


Attention is paid or given and something is exchanged in the glances that happen through wooden frameworks. Sometimes things demand your attention even when you’ve already given what feels like enough; even when you don’t want to. It’s not always mindful, but there’s always a choice, even in the face of loudness. I keep coming up with names for the sounds I hear, as though that will make them more bearable: nail guns, drills, hammers, forklifts, engines, generators, people yelling, laugher. Everything has a category and can always be described further, given an even more thorough name: a rubber hammer hitting a hollow metal frame; morning conversations happening through the windows of idling cars; rocks colliding with scraps of wood and the metal edges of a dumpster; footsteps of the last person installing cables after dark. Months ago, I recorded the sounds of next door when it was trucks moving in and out and I slowed it down, hoping to find some kind of music. There wasn’t anything there, just the same familiar abrasiveness. We search for hidden messages that say what we want them to, what we suspect but can’t prove. When I get frustrated, I do my own banging, hitting my cabinet doors open and closed so as to at least join in. Sound demands more sound, a response.

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