Friday, January 28, 2011
The washer, an ancient Maytag, thumps like a wheel with a flat spot whenever it hits the rinse cycle while the fluorescents in the laundry room hum. The furnace motor that pushes masses of hot or cold air depending on the season has a voice of its own. It clicks, engages, revs and relaxes a hundred times a day and at times the vents whistle shrilly. The sink in the kitchen makes a strange slurping noise as it empties but the one in the laundry room with its huge drain emits at best a quiet gurgle. Both toilets have voices too. The old one in the basement is slow and stately, the one upstairs near the bedroom is often recalcitrant if not downright unfriendly.
The cat knows to scratch at the kitchen door when it wants in but will sit by the kitchen window quietly purring with expectancy when he wants to be in the yard.
In the basement is a room where I play and record music, sometimes alone, other times with friends. This space has its own discreet cacophony. The Peavey single-speaker amps hum despite years of trying to establish a solid ground, and the big Fender monitor speakers are masters of the hiss. I have tried everything to make the room quieter—better cabling, attenuators, padding—to no avail and now I consider its noises part of the house’s symphony.
It’s been snowing the last couple of days which mutes all the exterior sounds save those of my Albanian neighbor who recently bought a set of drums and practices twice a day, mistaking thrashing loudness for talent.
My home is a living entity housing a parasitical entity—me—and I am lucky to have it, with all its noises, refrains and tics.