Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Neighborhood Rhythm

At lunchtime on this summer Wednesday, tranquil sunshine washes across the neighborhood. The trees cast dappled shadows on the street, and sway in the gentle breeze. The weather is calm. But the neighborhood is shaking.

Boom, boom boom, boom-boom boom. This neighborhood is all about drums and bass. The house next door is the epicenter of the music-quake. The vibration penetrates the walls of sleepy houses. Sitting inside, I feel the couch quiver beneath me. The persistent bass from next door sets my eardrums buzzing. I can feel the music ricocheting through my skull.

Melody does not travel well. I cannot hear the voices or guitar chords. But rhythm! Rhythm invades. It doesn't need to slink under doors or pry windows open, no, it bursts straight through walls. It pulses through the ground. The sidewalk dances, the asphalt road buckles. In the veins of the ferns and pines that seem so still, the beat disturbs the sap, casting waves. Boom--boom--boom, boomboomboom, boom. The sonic energy insinuates itself--into my bones--my lungs--the tips of my fingernails. This, is irresistible pulsation. This, requires no musical chemistry. Physics imposes this rhythm. Anywhere its energy carries it, every molecule will harbor its vibration.

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