Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Herein, I had a brilliant idea, and had been so inclined with wherewithal to work onward until completion of said thought-train, when, of the sudden, the roar of one machine was followed by the roar of another, seemingly right in my near ear, but followed closely into my far left ear, so that both ears were hounded with the founding and sounding and the veritable pounding in the roundhouse of my mind, until the turntable began to melt and then to roll impossibly down the tracks of my spine, infecting the words on the pages of my work and the pen in my hand, to the point that all were melting and rolling over the edges of the pages, into blackening pools of pain and despair at my feet.

The tyranny of machines, pushing us to the nether regions of our living quarters and our sanity. "Resistance is futile," a space zombie said to the characters in the play and also to the audience. Does the machine outdo the gentle rake for speed and efficiency? Surveys and science say no. But nothing shall impede the progress and deafness of civilization!

The resultant black pools of words stared silently back at me, with reproach. Separating them, once in this mood and state, would not be possible, not even with finepoint needle-nosed tweezers, which I would have to borrow from a friend.

For the accomplished pleasure of dispensing noizazy noise and rackety racket, as well as hectares of dirt blown about and abroad, the lawns of the land look lean and kempt, free from the carpeting of leaves and other foreign objects, for mine benefit and convenience--as if I have chosen and ordered such amenity, all over the land--and money is taken in exchange by the prime noizazter, a polite gentleman with three arms, a motor and no ears, who distributes it among his roving team of noizazters.

My work, damp, dark, shredded and pooled irretrievably, further excuses itself from my shaking hands, and what blotchy puddles are left completely drip from my mind--claiming the call of another errand--and move on, pouring themselves through the floorboards and into the ground beneath the house. Someday, they might return, when I least expect, so I had better call in a repairman to fix the sump pump, however bumptiously that work might thump.

Nothing against the noizazters, but their noizaz, with their soaring roar and pounding round and particulate pollution take me away from where I am and even beyond the point wherever I thought I was going or even want to be.

As the noizazters bundle their many arms and motors into their truck and roar away, I say to myself, that prime noizazter,  he is a fortunate one: he makes more money than I do, and is able to help four or five families to subsistence livelihood.

When they are gone, I hold my cleaved and aching head in my hands and weep.

© 2010 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen


See how someone else describes dealing with noise: "Old Bag" by Jenny Diski for the London Review of Books

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