Monday, July 20, 2009

window war

My house faces a four-lane highway. And across the street, I can watch travelers fill their tanks for $2.44 a gallon.


So the other night when Cowboy asked me to close the window, I bawked.


It’s 75 and summer, I said. Perfect window-opening weather.


Didn’t you hear those people out there, he said.


Out where? On a public street?


True. Two innocent path-walkers had sauntered along the sidewalk. And they were... conversing.


Oh my gawd, I said. Call the cops.


Seriously, he said. Doesn’t that noise keep you up at night?


I couldn’t lie. Sometimes the 6 a.m. motorcycle revs or the midnight drunken-gas-station-slushie speak startles my slumber. But it’s not enough to outweigh the benefits of a night of fresh air, free from artificial climate control.


See, where Cowboy comes from, all is silent save for a crowing meadowlark or a closing car door when visitors arrive.


But where I come from, (Kiewit Hall) I could throw a rock onto six lanes of interstate. I could step out my door and into a freshmen’s vomit. And every other Friday, I heard a helicopter lift off and later land, over and over again. The hospital's roof from which it flew, see, served as the city’s trauma unit... you know, for stabbings and stuff.


Well, Cowboy said, can I close it or not?


Keep it open, I said. Or go back to the boonies where you came from.

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