Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Overture of Infinite Sorrow

Due to the unusually warm weather, we’ve had the windows here at the Bagwine digs open for the past few days.

Our apartment complex sits alongside a busy street and directly across from the Emergency Room entrance/exit of a good sized hospital.

Between the street traffic and the hospital activity, the noise can at times, be deafening.

When it’s warm like it has been of late, our street becomes Thunder Alley, as seemingly every Harley-Davidson in North America storms up and down the road in a bombastic blast of steel, fuel, and leather.

At least a dozen times a day without warning, the calm and quiet are shattered like bone going through glass by the piercing screech and wail of ambulance sirens.

There’s also a Middle School nearby, and when school is in session, the kids walking to and from the school create a whirling buzz of hoots, cussing, and incoherent babbling.

The incoherent babbling is a noisy indication that in five to seven years many of these kids will be either knocked up or doing time…or both.

There is another notable sound that often seeps through the windows of the digs and into my ears.

It typically happens at night, as I sit next to the windows while at our computer…and?

I hate it.

It emanates from the hospital parking lot near the Emergency Room section.

It is the sound of men and women, family and friends wailing in sorrow, crying in disbelief, and in tone that is both angry and languid screaming…

“No, no, no…Why dear God, Why?”

When the motorcycles roar by, the thunder fades quickly.

The piercing screech of the ambulance sirens, is so commonplace here that I don’t notice the noise nearly as often as I do.

The incoherent babbling of the school kids is a mere annoyance, but…

The overture of infinite sorrow that I sometimes hear being played by folks standing in the hospital lot strikes a much more profound chord.

It strikes me louder, and echoes longer.

And yeah, like I said…

I hate it.



David said...

I used to live around the corner from a fire station with ambulance staff. I'm convinced that on their outings, that occurred about every 15 minutes, the first thing they did was turn on the sirens and then begin to suit up - tall buildings all around for a nice echo effect. There was no hope of a telecon or tv viewing in this process...and by tv I mean television.

Ah the joys of urban streetscape noise.

Jay said...

Ever tempted to just lean out the window and scream at them to hold it down and be considerate of others?

"Could you people hold it down! I swear, you're so loud you could raise the dead!!"

Matt-Man said...

David: It is the noise of life...and death. And I can hang with it. Cheers David!!

Jay: Never. It makes me sad. But your comment was funny. Cheers Jay!!

Knight said...

All this seriousness is scaring me. You need to blast the porn constantly playing on the background of your computer or get a fan in the window.

katherine. said...


now I'm going to have to go look and see who lives across the street from the hospital here.

Mike said...


Michele said...

I remember leaving our windows open at night...before moving to the big bad city. Between the constant din of the medical center a mile away and the possibility of waking up with man holding a knife to my neck while his buddy robs us I chose not up keep my windows open at night.

Matt-Man said...

Knight: Ha. No fears, Knight. Among trying to be funny I like to use BR as a writing workshop as well and try to different types of writing from time to time. I enjoy diversifying. Cheers Hot Stuff!!

Kat: I hope all is well. I think that comment indicates otherwise. Cheers Kat!!


Matt-Man said...

Michele: You have such happy thoughts. Cheers Michele!!

Irene said...

Man that is rough living by the emergency room that is too much not sure how you can stand it.8(
We live near two fire stations so I hear ya on the sirens but I think I am becoming immune to it as sometimes I don't even hear it.

Matt-Man said...

Other than the crying that takes place, we're used to it. That picture of the hospital was taken last night from outside the front door of our building. That's how close we are. Cheers Irene!!

Allison M. Dickson said...

This post put me in a contemplative mood. Well done, Matt. :)

Matt-Man said...

Allie: Well thanks. I am glad I could be your muse for the day. Cheers Allie!!

Dianne said...

the hospital folk would make me sad too, it gave me a chill just reading it

as for the middle schoolers - the incoherent ones are most likely the future of the tea party

Michele said...

Don't I?

It doesn't bother JR at all. He'll open the windows then conk out. Me? I'll be up all night fretting.

Doc said...

Dude, you need to move across the street from a Hooters.

Scott Oglesby said...

I have to hear it pretty often as well. Being that this is a tiny village composed of hundreds of elderly people, we have to hear that brain piercing wail at least once a week.

There is no mistaking what happened when you hear that sound. Ugh.

Desert Rat said...

This is so sad. The wail of sirens always gives me the creeps. I live four blocks from a Level 1 Trauma Center with two helipads. Yeah, I get to listen to Life Lift, Search and Rescue, and the Department of Public Safety, all day - in fact, I can hear one now - yup, there's goes the front door rattling. I try to tune it out 'cause I know what it means.

At night, the cross on one of towers is lit from below - looks nice, actually. Even sadder, though ... the closest Starbucks is IN the hospital.

Great post, Matt, but now, I'm depressed. Maybe I'll go get a latte'.

Raquel's World said...

No wonder you stay drunk off the Rose!

Beth said...

I hate it too. I always say a prayer when I hear the chopper.

Dana said...

I will never forget the sound of my brother-in-law's cry (and that word doesn't begin to describe what he did) when I told him his brother had shot himself.

I know that sound - so thick you can almost see it coming out of one's mouth and piercing a heart.

MysteryChick said...

Well done Matt-Man. I can hear the sounds, feel the pain.

Damn you!

Now pass me the tissues.

Matt-Man said...

Dianne: Only if there is a Tea Party wing in the State prison system. Cheers Sexy!!

Michele: Ha. I so dig him. Cheers Michele!!

Doc: Hooters is overrated as far as the chicks but they do have good Chicken Wings, Cheers Doc!!

Matt-Man said...

Scott: None at all Scott. it's a different type of crying. Y'k know what has happened. Cheers Scott!!

Rat: Thanks Dear, and yeah, as Schmoop notes below the Medical flights from the heli-pad are another distressing noise. Cheers rat!!

Raquel: Damn right, as I always say...Reality Goes Better With Bagwine!! Cheers Roc!!

Matt-Man said...

Schmoop: Yeah that sucks doesn't it? There were several choppers in and out yesterday. Cheers and Zoves!!

Dana: That would be tragic to be part of. Glad I could help bring every one down with this. Cheers Dana!!

Chick: Here ya go, Hot Stuff. Sorry 'bout that and we shall move on. Cheers Chick!!

Knight said...

The choppers might be a good thing. They might be an organ delivery.