Thursday, January 08, 2009

Engine Noise

When I lie down I hear it. The house is quiet, outside there is a distant rumble of a passing car, but inside my head there are engines humming. They are faint, at the edge of my hearing. I imagine them on tracks, moving forwards a few paces then reversing just to annoy me. Who could be doing this, I used to ask myself. Why bother this late at night?

Can you hear it? I ask him.
What? He says.
Listen.

They're at the depot far away, or maybe in the air. Odd little planes like mechanical insects - big thrumming abdomens, stubby wings. They are making the air throb or the ground. I hear them through the mattress, through the air, through the walls. Whichever way I turn...

Or maybe it is like the wasps and the blood, the drips of water and the leaking ceiling: just my imagination.

I used to be able to tell the difference. I used to know that the little man sitting on my shoulder with the large ugly head wasn't real.

When I shut my eyes I can see all these things. I fall into their world and we live alongside each other knowing we have a history - an unreal land of unsorted memories and dreams. It is an unbidden fantasy, a figment of my unconscious mind, nothing to do with the real waking world I inhabit now. But when it is dark it is difficult to tell the difference.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Anne S said...

Your post reminded me of a Ryan Adams song the lyricas of which are:

Trains moan in my sleep when I'm trying to go to bed
Moving way to slow for whatever they've been carryin'
I've been working hard ever since I was a kid
Trains moan in my sleep
Seems like something is always moving

Trains moan in my sleep when I'm trying to go to bed
Moving way to slow for whatever they've been carryin'
I've been working hard ever since I was a kid
Trains moan in my sleep
Seems like something is always moving

You know I don't always show
What it is I'm feeling, baby doll
You know that the things that you want
Aren't the things that you need
All the things that you will last [??]
I'm gaining on them trains and fast

Trains moan in my sleep
Into the future and out of the past
Into the future and out of the past

Trains moan in my head when I'm trying to go to sleep
Throwin' rocks at the window
When the sun's crawling up the sheets
I've been working hard ever since I was a boy
Trains moan in my sleep
Gnawing on me like I was a chew toy

You know I don't always show
Whatever I'm feeling, baby doll
You know that the things that you love
And the things that you want
Are the things that you need will last
I'm gaining on them trains and fast

Trains moan in my sleep
Into the future and out of the past
Into the future and out of the past
Into the future and out of the past
Into the future and out of the past
Trains moan in my head
When I'm trying to go to sleep
Moving way to slow for whatever they've been carryin'
I've been working hard ever since I was a kid
Trains moan in my sleep
Seems like I'm always moving
Trains moan in my sleep
Seems like I'm always moving

Courtesy of www.AnsweringBell.com

Fri Jan 09, 08:27:00 am  
Blogger BarbaraS said...

Not just me then: I used to have a thing about wallpaper too... switching off sometimes, wouldn't it be great?

Fri Jan 09, 08:34:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Great lyrics, Anne! Thanks. Yes, it does have the same feel doesn't it?

Barbara - Good to know I'm not alone. I'm wondering what you mean about walllpaper, though. Sometimes I see patterns in it that I suspect aren't really there. A bit like looking at tea leaves or the man in the moon.

Fri Jan 09, 09:42:00 pm  
Blogger Gordon McCabe said...

This reminded me that the Arab philosopher, Ibn Said, considered the interpretation of dreams to be one of the rational sciences (along with physiognomy, and the study of charms)!

Fri Jan 09, 10:11:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

A wise man, that Ibn Said! Thanks Gordon, another name for the Hodmandod Little Black Book.

Fri Jan 09, 10:37:00 pm  
Blogger Gordon McCabe said...

Sorry, Freudian slip, I meant Ibn Sina!

Fri Jan 09, 10:50:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Said is his big-mouthed brother, I expect.

Fri Jan 09, 11:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Mary said...

This gave me chills. Not sure if it's because I'm worried for your sanity, or if it's because I'm thrilled with your imagination. Maybe both.

Sat Jan 10, 05:33:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Don't worry, Mary - everyone knows I'm bonkers...but then they're all bonkers too!

Sat Jan 10, 11:01:00 am  
Blogger jem said...

Beautiful piece.

As I get older strange things are happening with my hearing. Some pitches elude me altogether, but some I hear more than other listeners.

This allows for some fun, and strange behaviour on my part. I react to things others don't hear - grumbling to myself about rumblings that are all mine.

I could hear the high pitched whine of the sonic rodent deterrent that my parents put in their garden the other summer. This caused questions about my genetic background!

Sat Jan 10, 12:42:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks, Jem - Yes, when a child I remember being disturbed by a light that emitted a high pitched hum. My parents were convinced I was making it up so they blind folded me - and to their annoyance I could still tell if it was off or on.

And then there was that youth deterrent in the news about a year ago - the high-pitched irritating hum that only the under 21s could hear. I wonder if our range keeps dropping with age. I suspect that it does.

Sun Jan 11, 03:17:00 pm  
Blogger Debi said...

And there was I thinking I had tinnitus ...

But I do know what you mean. My latest is when I close my eyes, faces form before me and I watch them with curiosity, wondering who they are and where they came from.

Then there's the periphery of the vision thing ...

Thu Jan 15, 02:28:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thank you, Debi! I find that very reassuring. We're not going bonkers, are we? Or if we are, the asylums are going to be terribly overcrowded!

Fri Jan 16, 12:37:00 pm  

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