Friday, March 6, 2009

Fast Edits

The car is vibrating softly, a muted whhhrrrr fills the small cab as the seat jostles my thighs. The motor runs and I wait in the bright light of mid morning. I am surrounded on both sides of the street by nearly identical three story apartment buildings. Their colors vary…cream, pale blue, golden yellow, white, brown, and so do the materials that compose the sparse balconies, stucco, metal, wood. While I wait, I try to look for other architectural features that diversify the cookie-cutter construction, but the diversity comes from the occupants, not the builders. There are a cluster of satellite dishes clinging to a wooden balcony. A large blanket dries over its edge, painted in the bright colors of a peacock. Telephone poles line the street, an abundance of thick, black wires come from each one like an electric waterfall of plastic tubes. Pigeons line the wires, pigeons perch comfortably on the rooftops, pigeons fly above, coasting low to pick up pieces of food, then back up high, back to the flock. I have sat with this view, with this eternal, unchanging street many times. Usually I sit in silence, preparing for the force about to arrive, but today, I turn on the tiny white Ipod and put on the good morning song, a musical piece of beats and electronic rhythms that always sound so, so good in the morning, when the light is bright and the possibilities of a new day are still silver in their whispered promises.
And the beat starts, the delay of an engine roars into the soundscape…then creeps in the steady boom of bass. A car crosses my line of vision at 25mph, it matches the tempo perfectly. A handful of pigeons take flight and my eyes go to them and then my eyes move back to the perpendicular street ahead of me and another car paints the street red just as the music hits an extended delay and then the beat starts in a little faster and my eyes dart to a patch of grass…my eyes move with the rhythm…a gated door…a window… a man on a telephone… a car goes…one, two, three beats. My eyes conspire with the song, editing the neighborhood in fast cuts and smooth delays. fffuuahhhh, a blue car goes by, precisely when it is needed, the birds take flight again, just as the song begins it crescendo and then I look to the ground, to the birds, to the wires, here comes another car and I hold the stare for 2 beats, then bam, bam, bam, my eyes dart again for every beat…one, the road, two, the pigeons, three, the grass…door, man, balcony, laundry on the line, faded stucco, a trash can on the street, a woman pushing a baby…tap, tap, tap…my eyes continue their edit…..fffuuuuuuu….a blue SUV passes by…tap, tap, tap, tap…the sculpted cypresses of the cemetery, tap, tap, tap…the wire fence, gravestone in the distance, street, pigeon, the elements cycle and the song continues, beautiful in its collaboration with the entire Universe around it.

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