It was a Toyota van, European,
I don’t know what series. Lights flashing, heard before seen,
yet you see the beast before you turn the street corner.
The ravisher of silence,
the constant reminder of being awake.
It is that alarm which makes mornings an abusive time for a clock.
This car alarm keeps time, tempo but occasionally comes in too quick,
as if it were trying to mimic the little beeps
we used to hear on the nightly news
to signify importance, or SOS.
It’s actually kind of catchy, and could be used to make a song
out of the impatient beeps, rip them up and reorganized
like they ask us to do with our attention.
But like our attention, we assimilate the sound into obscurity, a background nuisance we don’t
notice, because it’s unimportant,
someone else’s problem, a part of public traffic. Then it stops,
and for a moment, shock, but relief. Hooray it’s gone! Serenity reigns again!
But it is silence, which you become acutely aware of,
almost wanting to bring that sound back, the constancy to rely on,
a horn even to harmonize to.
Now we are apprehensive of sound and think lesser of the rumble
of trucks, the chatter of children, or the engines turning as they rev past the light. What of the
memory of that alarm? It still haunts you,
but more you don’t want to forget about it – it dies without proper commemoration. You talk of
it no more because it is a common occurrence, easily replaceable, vulgar. The beauty of the
alarm is not in the sound, but commotion the sound drives
by its waves, or what this could mean in a different context – but
known as the invasive annoyance concocted by the whizzes at Toyota,
we disregard this completely.