I walk to work along a four mile stretch of highway 82, which necessitates some form of substitute noise. Ordinarily I don’t mind being totally in my environment, but the whoosh of traffic at fifteen feet is not the most grounding of sounds. The journey has given me a renewed appreciation for my iPod, and for fast and glitchy techno: I like listening to music that complements, rather than battles, the highway shrieks. My daily hour-long concerts have made me more aware of my aural environment in general, which is unsual for me. I’ve always been the sort who’s been able to easily tune out the sounds around me (don’t most readers develop this defense early on?), but now I find myself inadvertently listening.
I’m lucky to be in an office in which I control what I hear. There is always a low radio on in billing and customer service, and if I worked in one of those departments, I’d be surrounded by some form of music for the majority of my day. This seems a recipe for the disenchantment of sound. Then again, I’m not sure that the empty pop that’s piped into Suite C qualifies as music. In any case, my space right now is quiet. I have a hard time working and listening to music.
Over the past week, I’ve assigned myself a little project during my morning walk. I look for something I’ve never seen before. The world is full of such things; today I saw a sky blue crayon, unused, lying next to a puddle on the side of the road. I spent the next few blocks dreaming up stories as to how it had gotten there.