Domestic Activity

Sound travel journal

▰ Ceiling fan whir + dishwasher racket + domestic HVAC drone = the lofi DJ Krush jam I didn’t know I’ve been looking for.

▰ It’s strange enough to be in the house you grew up in after this long, not just pandemic long, but life long. It’s stranger still for the old home to have, per chance, the same make of dishwasher you have in your current home. Thus, when the beep at the end of the cycle goes off, you have, briefly, no idea where you are.

▰ When a call comes, at least four lines ring out on two different floors, and the place is full, almost brazenly, with the once ubiquitous noise of the house phone. The last refuges of the landline are abundant with it.

▰ The one seemingly obvious thing this house alarm doesn’t do is tell you, upon entering, whether or not it is on (or, as the militaristic lingo goes: armed). A simple pair of opposed tones would more than suffice.

▰ It’s been a very long day, starting work in native New York time and ending in gone-native California time, all while you’ve been sitting still. You go for a walk in a suburban dark that swallows up much of the street lamps’ efforts. Waiting for the signal to change in your favor at an intersection, you glance up at a residence that predates the American Revolution. There is one light on, on the top floor. Through the partially closed shades you can see a violent single player shooter raging. The oncoming cars still have the right of way. The room briefly goes dark, and then the screen illuminates again. Even from a distance, you can tell some sort of character-review stage has been called up. There is no sound. The window is shut. The room goes dark again, and then the violence proceeds. And you continue your walk further into the night.

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