Monday, June 20, 2011

This Non- Rural Life

This non-rural life (a response to the universe inhabited by the Rural Life):

It is the grating sound of the opening of the neighboring building's large metal garage door, badly in need of overhaul, that pierces the quiet of the night. It is 4AM, and my day has begun.

There are no stars in this sky. Not now or ever. I stare at the apartment building to my left. One or two places show signs of life : a light emanates from one room, then another, a television's images flicker and then disappear.

From my vantage point on the Jersey side of the Hudson River, just south of The Bridge, the travelers on the West Side highway speed by. It will be several hours before I can look into the skies to see the air traffic that is headed into LaGuardia. On the day Captain Sullenberger left that airport and headed into trouble and fame, I had just gone out. I wonder if I would have noticed the plane in its descent past my window had my schedule been different. Now, that would have been a story for me to retell until the end of time.

I hear the unmistakable cries of an ambulance. There are several local hospitals nearby. From the direction of the fading echoes of the siren I try to guess its destination.

I stare at NYTimes.com on my computer screen. It is Monday morning and the news has an unsettling sameness. We are still troubled by Afghanistan and Pakistan, divided on our vision of the way out of our economic morass, and problems seem to pile up on the desk of a beleaguered President.

The workday beckons. I will soon drive my car west for 12 minutes, without traffic, and park in the spot closest to the office building. Only then will I hear a sound jarringly out of place. The residence next door is still home to chickens and roosters and other animals, unknown in number and nature. The smells and noises that emanate remind me of nothing else in the universe I inhabit here.

I am startled out of my contemplations by the garage door. It is a constant annoyance and I question why it remains unfixed. I wonder how many others are awake and listening to it's fingernails on chalkboard tune this morning.

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