Monday, April 21, 2014

Sounds I Miss From Texas

Texas flag
At the Texas State Fair
I miss the sounds of…

Crickets as they keep vigil through the night, their whistly sopranos petering out and being replaced by the next in turn

The Doppler effect of the lawnmower as it passes by my bedroom window, and also the calm relief that returns after it shuffles off

Squirrels thumpety-thumpety-thumping across the roof

The bright, bouncy cry of the cardinal

The whooshing of the trees as they all clap their hands to welcome in an imminent thunderstorm, or the lazy flicker of leaves rustling together on a balmy, breezy day

Thunder in all its forms: the uhhh-I-don’t-wanna-get-out-of-bed-Mom grumbles, far off in the distance—the basketball that bumps from one carpeted stair step to another—the large fart denied a way out of the bowels—the kind that shifts between rumble and boom that makes you wonder if it’s gonna be A Big One—the bedroom door slammed by an angsty teenager that makes the bookshelf fall over and spill all the books and knick-knacks onto the floor—and the actual Big One, the sort of thunder that makes molten-hot adrenaline pierce your chest and make your skin feel all tingly, the sort that yanks the plug of your house out of the electrical grid, the sort that slaps you up side the head, the sort that leaves you in a quiet reverence and awareness that yes, the thunderstorm is here

June bugs mindlessly crashing into the window like mini marionettes, their papery vibrating wings tickling the glass

My brother dragging his fingers across the strings on his guitar, creating the at once metallic and organic harmonies that manage to squeeze past the atoms that make up our bedroom walls

The air-conditioner unit’s uvular trill as it turns on, heaving out of its sunburned siesta to get back to work

The low, basso continuo of the TV on a languid Sunday afternoon after my dad has fallen asleep watching a football game or a Nascar race

My parents uncontrollably giggling and heehawing at a funny movie or TV show on a weeknight when they’re tired

When keys crack open the finnicky brass lock on the front door, and when the heavy wooden door swooshes close, leaving a hopeful anticipation over “Who came home?”

The white noise of the dishwasher running

The dryer alarm yelling at you to come back and reset it because your clothes still aren’t actually dry

Someone squeak, squeak, squeak-ing the spigot handle open, releasing the high-pitched rush of water into the sprinkler hose

Mom pulling out of the oven a tray of fragrant cookies that scrapes against the tinny grating all echo-like

The half of the conversation my Mom has on the phone with my Grandma, recounting recent happenings I already know about but which are reassuring to hear all over again

The rush-hour roar of the highway at dawn, two miles away yet audible nevertheless

The stillness of a summer night, with a man walking his dog here, a car drifting by there, the boughs of the tree shivering in the cool air and the birds snuggling up for the night

***

A little over a month from now and I’ll be home for the summer. More on my plans for this season later, but safe to say I’m just a little homesick right now and ready for some of the dry heat of the Great State of Texas.

What sounds do you miss from home if you’ve ever lived abroad for a stretch? Tell me in the comments below!
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