18 August 2005

wifebeaters and traffic noise

Early today, I was sitting on the steps of the Stephen Foster Memorial on a break from rehearsal, and it occurred to me that more than half the people who were walking by on the street were dragging their feet, just shuffling along. The oppressive heat here of late has turned everyone I see into zombies.

I've broken a frontier, ladies and germs. I've actually taken to wearing A-shirts (I have a tough time calling anything that I'd wear a "wife beater," but I imagine that's the popular term for it). It's not often I expose my flabby (though not as flabby as they used to be) arms to the world at large, particularly in a clingy cotton shirt.

But the heat has driven me to it.

And I've discovered the thing that I like least (or, for those glass-half-empty folk out there, "the thing I hate most") about the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh (which is where my current gigs are being rehearsed and performed) is the constant and overwhelming noise of traffic, and medivac helicopters taking off or landing at one of the myriad UPMC hospitals here.

That's actually a funny stance to take for a guy who lives right on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, but the fact of the matter is that I've spent so much time living in a quite apartment building in Shadyside now, that the contrast of the noise in the area around the theater is really distracting.

I know when I get back to NYC the noise is going to overwhelm me for the first couple of days. There's always a period of readjustment when you've been away for a while and then plop yourself right back into that cacophony.

The last time I was away for a while, I couldn't use my cell phone on the streets, 'cuz I wasn't used to the noise and couldn't hear anything anyone was saying to me. Can't wait for that to happen again.

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