The Disconnected

 

Another day and the same dream:  I am driving a compact car and I’m trying to park in a space meant for compact cars. On each side of the parking space is a monster vehicle – a Sierra Massive Madre and a Himalayan Mountain All Terrain I-Drive-a Ram-cuz-I’m-a-Man-In-Your-Face Pick-up.  I finally park my car and then try to get out. But the vehicle next to me is so space -staking large that I can only open the door but a pinch. That is when I wake up.

The same day and, as usual, I went to the local health club to do my cardio routine.  And, as usual, thunderous testosterone overdosed music was there to assault me.  The large fitness club has two floors. The resistance weights are located upstairs and the cardio, yoga classes, etc. are located on the main floor. The upstairs looks down onto the main floor; the floors are open to each other. This arrangement means that the screaming hellish heavy metal music is inescapable. Not having a toggle switch on the side of my head to turn off outside noise, I put on headphones, and once again, I hear my own blood pumping.

Workout complete, I head to the women’s locker room wishing there was something to take my mind off of the music that comes from the bottomless pit.  Yet, when I enter the women’s locker room there are six large screen TVs blaring out the local news. In Chicago, the local news is mostly about the west and south sides of Chicago and about who is killing whom over gym shoes or for a gang initiation or just because they feel welcomed in Chicago by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and IL Representative (D) Luis Gutierrez. Shooting off guns is what they do to celebrate in third world countries.

To find relief from the harmful drug-like effects of constant and pervasive packaged noise, I choose a locker near the showers, away from the din. Further away, in the sauna, I believe that I can find a quiet place. But that occurs until a young girl in head-to-toe sweats comes in. Bypassing the body, her brain is plugged into a Smartphone which dispenses her self-image – the latest sweet-bad-girl-nymph chirping infantile sexuality. I then move to the shower where there is sure to be a respite from… But wait! What is that I hear?

Lately, on Tuesday, 4:30 AM, a young black girl shows up and uses the shower across from me.  Her ambience is set with the wailing ecstasy of bowel-wrenching R & B music, music which plays out of speakers of some device impervious to shower water and to others.

 

Noise exhaustion cannot break my contract. My contracted membership with this health club cannot be voided except if I die or suffer a physical disability, such as severe stroke. 

Touché!

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