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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sound Environments

The Sound of rain indoors: 2 AM Saturday, march 22
Tak. Tak. Tak. Tak. Tak tak tak tak tak.
I wake up to the sound of an old-fashioned keyboard, the one with tall keys that types loudly.
There's a ghost in the room!
Tak. Tak. Tak. Wait. That isn't a keyboard. That is the drip of water. It is the sound of water falling on soaked cloth. I extend my hand in the darkness. The pile of cloth I keep at the head of my bed is wet.
I step out of bed. SPLASH!
The clatter of objects, as I move them out of harm's way.
My roommate says to take care of the problem in the morning.
The tapping of water as it falls on sill, deal, and floor. Tap. Tap. Tap.
The sound of water as it drips into containers set out for it, on desk and floor.
A quiet pinging noise as water falls into a metal thermos.
The soft splash of toes in water as I try to keep the greater part of my feet dry.
 The dripping continues. Tap. Tap. Tap tap. Tap. Tap tap tap.
The rustle of cloth as I dry my feet.
Occasionally the water gushes out all at once, and for a few moments, the room is silent.
Then the tapping begins again.

Empty Classroom in McWethy: 10:11 AM, march 25
Above, there is the hum of one of the machines that pipes air through the building, so unceasing that it soon fades into unnoticed background noise.
Below, someone teaches a class, exhorting and discussing, pointing things out with great flourish.
From somewhere before me, someone is playing soft, soulful music.
The rustle of paper. Voices.
Someone coughs below.
The teacher's voice rises.
Paper rustles.

Morning after unexpected snowfall:
 8 AM, march 25
The hiss of snow blown over fields of snow, in the cold morning.
A rushing begins. The wind is picking up as a train comes by. The train is far away and down a hill, but I can hear it from here. Sounds carry farther in the silence of a winter morning.
The soft tramp of feet as students make their way to breakfast.
Wind rustles the branches of a cedar tree.

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