The Sounds Not of Silence


Today’s Perfect Moment had two distinct, some might say opposite, parts. What unites them is their locations and the fact that both of them were sounds.

Sound One

I was at the end of my commute to work. That is to say, I got off the last segment of public transportation, but still needed to walk between five and ten minutes to my place of work.  Even though this wasn’t the true end to my commute, I have always felt like my commute was over, even if I had to walk through a blinding snowstorm to get to the actual building.

I exited the subway and started up the stairs that would take to one level below street level. I always take these particular stairs.  It might be because they are closest to the exit.  It might be because I seem to know exactly where to be in the subway so that the doors open right in front of it.

These stairs see a lot of two way traffic. I see the grumpy on their way to work.  I see the barely awake clutching their coffee (currently also dreaming of winning Roll Up the Rim).  I see the morning people.  I see the students.  I see the tired.  I see the beautiful, hoping they might turn to take one last look at me as I am taking one last look at them.

These stairs bring me to the main concourse area and very near the entrance/exit. There is always someone playing a musical instrument.  I’ve seen cellists, guitar players, blind xylophone players, steel drums and Chinese stringed instruments that I do not know the name of.

Today was different. I didn’t so much hear the music as be aware of it.  It was a tune I knew well, but for some reason couldn’t name.  I heard it like background music in a movie, only the movie was about me.  My feet bounded up the steps to the tune perfectly.  The eyes of one of those beauties met mine in time to the music, and perhaps she even took a brief second glance, all to that music.

I walked away humming the tune, trying to figure out what song it was.   All of this happened without ever seeing the musician.  When it faded, and I could no longer hum to tune that was scratching at my brain, I was no longer sure whether it were actually being played or whether I had provided the soundtrack for those brief moments.

Sound Two

Richmond hill Terminal, though nothing actually terminates there, is not my favourite place to go to.  It is a stop that isn’t physically in line with the others and requires some time consuming left turns to incorporate into the route.  It works well for those changing busses, but somehow irks me.  Whenever possible, I take a bus which bypasses the whole thing. The stop has one redeeming feature.  It is home to a train line which hosts both passenger and cargo traffic.

Today, while making the customary stop, a loud train came barrelling past the bus I was in. The doors had opened at exactly the right time.  Instead of the slow build-up of noise as the train approached, I was greeted by a loud engine sound exactly as the doors opened.  It was a beautiful cacophony of metal on metal sounds, whistle sounds, signal sounds and vibration sounds.

The bus doors closed and the sound was completely muted. I humorously wondered, if a train thunders through a forest and there is no one there to hear it….


About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, bus, music, public transportation, subway, trains and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Sounds Not of Silence

  1. hmunro says:

    Marvelous post, Anthony — especially your wondering whether you had actually heard the familiar tune, or whether you’d provided your own soundtrack. I also loved your description of the “beautiful cacophony of metal on metal sounds, whistle sounds, signal sounds and vibration sounds.” Wonderfully written … and truly a perfect moment.

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