Friday, April 4, 2014

Sound Walk - Leticia Infante

Waiting for the bus at 11:00pm, I decided to listen. I was near St. Mark’s Place and the sidewalks were not as packed as one would expect. The sound of cars became louder; they sounded a lot like waves reaching the shore. I heard different tones and dialects from various pedestrians. On the street corner, I heard obnoxious laughter from a pack of women whose unsettling pitch seemed to produce a ringing in my ears; I heard a ringing in my ears; however, I am not sure if those women were the actual reason for my discomfort. Additionally, a man who was also waiting for the bus lit his cigarette; I heard him exhale; it was an exhale out of exhaustion. His phone vibrated about three times. I heard a bell jingle after someone walked out of a deli; I heard it hit the door. All of these sounds happened at once. It was as if St. Mark’s was an orchestral piece composed by all these individuals and objects. The piece was interrupted as the overpowering sound of an ambulance’s siren began to merge with the original sound. The neighborhood became replete with that sound, as it bounced off and entered through every object. One could hear nothing but that siren. No heels clattering on the concrete, or beer bottles clanking inside plastic “thank you, have a nice day” bags could be heard. All that there was, was that monstrous siren, devouring the humble frequencies and amplitudes that were once there. Quickly, the ambulance disappeared and the orchestra of St. Mark’s Place gradually returned.

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