Living somewhere i can only describe as having more in common with a salami sliced papyrus sandcastle (which i shall refer to as s2ps), over time you eventually begin to differentiate between the multifarious spectres of annoying noises which are generated on a second by second basis. Most people living in one of these never-sleeping gun-tooting, knife pointing, "i really liked my phone" urbanonments, understands and generally plods through doing their best navigating the treacherous rapids
In the s2ps's, you get to know the footsteps: those who enter and leave and, over time, even which time of the day. You then become suspicious when a footstep enters, slowly and quietly tip-toes around, before attempting to inch its way up the hallway stairs where the wood's so warped woodworm would tie themselves in knots believing they're on the break of a lifetime. The creaking of boards becomes an existential soundscape creating a distribution distinctiveness that, by abstraction, moulds you as-one with the: heavy walkers, quiet walkers and the great big lumberers - who cause the entire stairwell to shake!
When neighbours also pop on washing machines - and here admittedly it doesn't take much in the way of deductive reasoning to work out exactly where in the block the machines are operated from - you get to sense the timing, the rhythm, the vibrations.
After realising i was hearing a washing machine going off twice a day every day, in a flat generally occupied by two sometimes three people - without mewling infants - , cogs began whirring over energy use and from observations our profligate use of; those who can afford and those who suddenly find themselves in the laps of the fuel impoverishing rub two sticks together gods - otherwise known as the energy utility companies.
Even if the machine is an energy efficient a+++ ultra deluxe monster, using it twice a day? Every day? Even growing up in a family of many there was two at the most washing days. Surely if you live with another flat sharer then you pop dark/white etc., clothes into the machine, wash, hang (or dry) then sort. After all, if your indoors and not behind portable hermetically sealed filtration units, then you're breathing in and splattering one another with each others molecules on a fairly regular basis. Your clothes once washed will be far cleaner.
The whole thing started my wee cells wheeling uncontrollably into the arenas of profligacy and environmental affordability. Imagine how things will be once the entire world's household population have washing machines and are happily using them twice a day? I know that's stretching an already tenuous point, but hopefully the point is somewhat now taken.
In our age of obscure thinking maybe we should be thinking more along the lines of: the least you consume and waste the less you pay, the more you consume and waste the more you wrack up and over a certain level it wracks up exponentially. The way the body reacts against too much alcohol, or drugs, where (generally) more really isn't better. But in our consume all we can world the opposite is the case. Why buy one, when you can buy three for two and have an extra six thrown in, then throw twelve of them in the landfill anyway.
Which brought another stray faint remembered thought hovering into mind when at a friends flat and looking out of the window, as a blazing crystal-blue sky looked back in, to notice the room light was on, as well as a side light.
"Why?" i queried.
"Because," he said. With earnest seriousness. "I want to!"
Images taken from the now mothballed space shuttle fleet, and other satellites, during night time flyovers on the planet, shows built up urban areas are the worst for trying to illuminate the openness of space.
With talk (yes this was started a while back) about lighting up stonehenge to make it look pretty, or so that trucks can navigate the single-lane bends, there are millions in urban centres who believe the stars are just those few they can see on a clear night from their sparkling towers of chrome, glass and concrete; as the true light show is rubbed into obscurity by our profligate wasting of unnecessary light.
urbanonments - urban environments