And This I Call “PEACEFUL”


It hinders the creative work of the mind if the intellect examines too closely the ideas as they pour in.
—Johann Friedrich von Schiller

Who’s got time to examine ideas, von Schlitzoclock? I can’t even keep up just writing the ideas down as they come in, much less thinking about them. I’m under a lot of pressure here. I’ve only got four more hours of peace in my room until my noisy roommate comes back from work and turns on the TV game shows so he has background noise with which to practice his electric geetahr on in my room. I won’t be able to write then.

I know I’ve painted my roommate Ranger Mike harshly. He’s really not evil. Just disturbing.

I’m under a lot of pressure here. It’s 10:30 in the morning and I’ve only got three and a half hours of “peaceful” (hahahahaha: “peaceful”) writing time to get something accomplished today. Into this “peace” I’m getting from the absence of my roommate comes THE OTHER ambient sounds of living in a homeless veterans’ transitional living shelter:

–outside the window I have to keep open because there is no air conditioning here comes the ceaseless sound of jumbo jets flying one after another after another after another a hundred, maybe less, feet over my head, the great behemoth aluminum airbraking wings screeching, SCREECHING out the name of industry and commerce . . .

–outside my window four stories down are the roaring, clacking deisel engines of tractor trailor trucks tearing up the pavement and my eardrums delivering industry and commerce to the blocks and city blocks of warehouses across the street from my window, airhorns blaring, engines roaring, airbrakes hissing like great metal dragons, angry dragons, beep beep beeping as they back up into the warehouse docks through the pain centers of my eardrum . . .

–outside my window four stories down is the clackety clackety clackety sound of kids riding their skateboards up and down, up and down the sidewalk, the hard rubber wheels of the skateboards pounding incessantly on the uneven slabs of sidewalk concrete . . .

–outside my window four stories down and across the street are the drill instructor screams of a possesed Alternative Schools teacher shrilling out the cadence to his ‘gangbanger, kicked-out of-every-other-school in Los Angeles’ students who are in military unison shouting with post pubescent bariton voices the count of the jumping jacks they are humping for the harrassing, name-calling, intimidate-them-straight teacher . . .

–outside my door which I have to keep open because there is no air conditioning come the metal-on-concrete construction sounds of the wiring crews who are drilling holes through all our rooms to install more noisemaking industry and commerce—cable TV wires—and they’re doing a noisily poor job of it because everyone who lives here knows that the managers of this place couldn’t organize a search party for their own assholes if they were in a room full of proctologists and they’ve hired a bunch of Arabic shouting electricians to scream directions and corrections at each other in four different, Towel of Babel languages . . .

–outside my door comes the cocophony of sounds heightened by the shrill of the two cylinder lawnmower engine being driven across our central quad lawn by a middleaged veteran who was living behind a dumpster in an alley next to a gas station two days ago and now he’s a lawncare “maintenance engineer” doing his community service in my ears . . .

–10 airplanes screeching and 9 tractor trailors hissing and beeping and 8 skateboards clackety clacking and 7 city thugs jumping jacking and 6 Arab electricians wall hacking and one lawnmower grass blade whacking . . .

and this I call “PEACEFUL”.

2 Responses

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