Archive for the ‘noise’ category

The races

May 9, 2008

I live about a mile from a fairgrounds, and in the fairgrounds is a race track. It’s for cars, not horses. All winter I completely forget the race track is there, but as soon as spring starts, so do the weekend races. You can hear them clearly from my house, even when the windows are closed. When the weather’s nice and the windows are open, it’s much worse.

The noise is bad enough when I feel okay, but when I have a migraine (like today) I feel like the cars are racing around my brain. Around and around and around. I would say it’s unbearable except I’ve borne it for the last twenty years. And I’m bearing it now. It just makes my head hurt worse, is all.

Even when I was a kid I hated traffic noise. We lived on a country road with very little traffic until they built a community college out somewhere on the road and suddenly there was a line of fast noisy traffic all day long and part of the night. I remember lying in bed and hating the sound. I also remember being very little and lying in my wagon on a summer day and listening for quiet. I remember it was an airplane that was bothering me that time. I wanted it to go away so I could hear some quiet. A dog barking, fine. A rooster crowing, even, was a soothing sound. But no engines!

And it isn’t only traffic. I like music (my husband is a musician) but I hate having recorded music assault me everywhere I go. (Is this the real reason I work in a library?) And I really hate hate hate the sound of commercials, and will grab the remote away from anybody so I can mute TV ads, and I get annoyed with people who switch to another show during commercial breaks because that’s supposed to be my quiet time.

And then there’s the constant hum of computers. In the late 70’s the library I was working in got its first computer. At the end of that first day, the woman who was in charge of it turned it off, and I said, How can you stand the noise it makes all day? And she said, What noise?