I can remember as a young man growing up the warm lazy days of summer. Out of school for three months; all was right with the world. As I lay across my bed in the early afternoon, a warm breeze blowing through the windows, the occasional car could be heard traveling down the road in front of the house. In between snoozes I might even hear the drone of a prop plane in the distance. The birds were always in excellent voice and cicadas filled the trees with their song of love.
After the sun retreated behind the horizon the soothing nocturnal sights and sounds spread their comforting net for all to enjoy. Crickets (the violins of the natural world) rubbed their appendages to and fro in an attempt to attract a suitor. Lightening bugs whiled away the hours in a silent display of affection. All these and many more acted as sleeping pills, soothing me to slumber safely surrounded in natures lullaby. Then early mornings would bring the lonesome wail of a far-off freight train providing a soothing alarm clock to start the day.
Do you remember those days? I can’t be the only one.
In a few short years I seemed to have moved from a slow peaceful existence, to being shot-gunned into a montage of beeps, bleeps, buzzes and grunts. Let’s delve into this a tad deeper, shall we?
We awake in the morning, our alarm clock spewing out loud music or some other annoying buzz or beep to toss us out of bed. The sound of the radio blaring in order to be heard over our hot shower, gives way to our electric toothbrush grinding against our molars and razor chewing off the facial stubble. Once dressed we retire to the kitchen where we are greeted by the beeping of the coffee pot, the kids tossing Cheerios, The Morning Show on the kitchen TV and the cell phone call reminding us of that early morning meeting.
Once out of the house we jump into our automobile and clamber for the spot in that parking lot we refer to as a highway. As The Morning Show plays on our auto stereo, horns blare, roads rage and a lap soaked with hot coffee, we manage to complete our six mile commute in under an hour.
We reach the office; a bell at the door announcing our arrival. The entire building seems to be alive with keyboards tapping, fax machines faxing and copying machines doing whatever they do. You sit down at your desk and push a button to start your computer. A quaint little tune announces that it is functional and your work day has now begun. If you’re lucky you may be blessed with a fire drill, tornado, hurricane, volcano, killer comet, or some such other noisy drill to participate in.
I believe I’ve made my point so there’s no reason to play this scenario in reverse. Noise pollution has become a part of our daily lives and I’ll have to admit there are a lot of advantages to this technological society we have constructed for ourselves.
It tickles me to think that if I applied these two situations to the way I write my first novel would be a lesson in hometown values, moral fortitude, reeling in the big one down at the ole fishing hole; dinner at Grandma’s on Sunday after church and just an all-around Mayberrian type of existence.
On the other hand, my second novel would be an object lesson surrounding an ant colony with hundreds of thousands of the little segmented critters all scraping their fingernails down a blackboard at the same time.
They say: The more things change the more they stay the same……….that may be, but things sure seem different to me.