Tuesday, February 14, 2012
WHAT I HEAR
I start my walk at around 8pm. I walk out of my house, and the first thing I hear is the clanking of glass bottles, one of my neighbors is a bottle collector, I hear the screeching of her dinky grocery cart scraping against the sidewalk. Across the street, a bus pulls up and stops, I hear the loudness of the breaks. I continue to walk, I hear a familiar sound of wheels on pavement, and of course, I stop and look up to see some boys skateboarding at a vacant basketball court close to my house. I hear the slamming of the board to the ground after every attempted trick and the occasional cheering and clapping by the other boys that are watching. I walk a few more blocks to a busier street. Passing cars are the only things I hear for those few blocks. I start to hear loud pop music leaking out from one of the dollar stores I approach, and as I pass it, I hear a different song being blasted out of the discount electronic store next door, as if they were competing. I hear a bike bell ring as a cyclist glides by me; I hear the keys of the guy walking in front of me dangle with every step he takes. A woman walks by me quickly and I can hear the loud tapping of her heels on the ground. All of a sudden the JMZ train above my head comes, and the sound drowns out all the loud pop music and people talking on their phones for what feels like an eternity, I can even hear the doors open, and I hear the train robot say “please stand clear of the doors”. The train passes, and things feel so much quieter. I can hear other people’s phones ringing and cars honking at pedestrians in their way. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard “hey mami” enough times. As I come to a stop light I can hear the walk/don’t walk sign beeping as the red hand flashes.