What's that ringing?

There is a ringing in my ear. It started on my drive home from work a few years back. At least that's when I first remember hearing it. I thought it was coming from my radio, a weird defect in my speakers. I'd turn off the radio but it was still there, ringing loud and clear. Crazy I thought. Where was it coming from. I tried the radio again but like before the high pitched tone continued. I rubbed my ears but it wouldn't go away. Turns out, It was in my head. In fact it's in my head now as I type these words, but now I understand it better. Back then it was just a weird ringing in my head. I googled it. Talked to others that had it. I needed to know why and how I could get rid of it. It was annoying and disruptive. Tinnitus they call it. An audiological and neurological affliction shared be 50 million Americans. Okay I don't feel so bad now. I wasn't the only one. But why me and why now?  The experts offered no answers and there was no cure that I could find when searching every corner of the internet for information. There is nothing fun about constant ringing in you ear, in fact it's annoying and distracting. It sucks actually. It seems to come and go and usually happens when I'm watching tv or sitting quietly. Some say years of loud music is the culprit. Given the many concerts I attended in my youth that was a possibility but I wasn't convinced that was it given I hadn't been to a concert in 40 years.  I racked my brain. What loud situation had I experienced recently that could have damaged my ears? I hadn't been to a concert in years and I didn't listen to loud music they way I used to. Then it dawned on me.  A few months back t I was working on a series about Sandhogs, the construction crew that dug water tunnels under New York. There was this massive piece of machinery called the mole, a beast of metal the size of a locomotive. All day It was grinding through the toughest rock on the planet using four foot tall blades that chewed up granite like it was candy. The rock was pulverized into smaller bits and carried on a conveyer belt to waiting carts which in turn were pulled through the 3 mile tunnel where they were lifted above ground and hauled away. It was a remarkable process that made me think of the drug tunnels I had been in years earlier and if they had only had a machine like this how efficient they would have been. The mole was loud, very loud and they handed out ear plugs. Unfortunately for me i had to communicate with crew so earbuds weren't going to work.

I was around this machine enough to know it was worse that any rock concert. Louder than any guitar solo.  

 

Chasing Sleep

It's 4 am. I am looking straight towards the ceiling willing myself to sleep. Every sound is louder than it should be. My thoughts grinding from one to the next. Resettting the internal clock from one time zone to the next seems impossible. There is no reset switch. No winding mechanism to be adjusted. At home falling asleep was easy. Eyes heavy, watching an un familiar movie on tv,  it wasn't long before I slipped into my dreams.  Morning came early. One AM. Two AM. Night became an endless void. Thoughts bounced around my head like a ping pong ball. I was doomed. I could hear the wind outside my hotel window, cold and angry. A cold front rolled in from the north. I would have walked the dark empty streets i hate the cold. I longed for a familiar surrounding, the warmth of my wife laying by my side, the familiar sounds of my home. There is comfort in anything familiar and perhaps the essence of that safety would ease the finely tuned gears of my internal clock. All I could do was dream. Move my mind from

Motion of this place

I remember the time this city engulfed me. The fast paced energy pushed me through the days. There was never a slow motion moment when time ticked by in slow exaggerated steps. Back then New York was a fast flowing river, a time lapse, an avalanche. But as I come home and watch the city from my hotel room window I'm able to slow things down and move at my own pace despite of the energy that surrounds me. Perhaps it's age and wisdom but now I control my movements in the environments I explore. I'm more observant. Less inclined to get swept up in the motion of the city.

Mercury IS in retrograde

I am running in mud. So thick and deep that it wears me down. It's relentless pull grabs hold with a force of gravity I have  never experienced, but yet, I fight. Muscles aching. They say that Mercury is in retrograde. I don't know what that means but I repeat it. Mercury's in retrograde. People agree. Fuck Mercury. Fuck retrograde. I can only wait it out. Like a bad storm. Stay inside and wait it out. But life goes on in the mud.

January 28th, 2015

There was another death today. Someone I knew, like the last. It doesn't make sense. This one was young. His whole life before him. That's two. Waiting for who's next. They say death comes in three's. I hope that's not true because the last two were good for the planet and the planet needs as much good as it can get. Maybe these deaths are reminders of how important the people in our lives are. It's so fleeting, life. Then it's over. Hard to wrap my head around that because I feel alive. Invincible. And yet I'm not. 

ON THE ROAD

My head hurts from the late nights. Unfamiliar territory for me. The clock say 6:53. To early for anyone. Garbage truck outside my window. Are you fucking kidding me. I need coffee but my body won't move from this unfamiliar bed. I have a love hate with hotel rooms. So many bodies form the mattress. I try to find a place where mine fits. Garbage truck outside. I taste the whiskey from last night. Cheap whiskey. Also unfamiliar territory for me. Back home I'm in bed by nine. Fast asleep by ten. A bed that fits my body. My wife pressed up against me. That's where I want to be.