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Area Sneaks: Mathew Timmons

Mathew Timmons

from Sound Noise


Why am I silent on the issue of local authority? Do I have any grounds to criticize? Remember when we noticed that there were some civic organizations made for protest? I replied to all your questions, my friend. The first time you played my new instrument, you didn’t want to leave it. I always wondered what it was that makes that noise, you said, let me take it home with me. To date the noise of my truck hadn’t bothered you, but today it did. Again, you tried to high tail it out of here. Again I was able to change your mind and you came back. You sat in my lap right next to the truck while I massaged you and then I went inside to wash dishes for 10 minutes. You discovered that the vacuum cleaner was full and you left me inside while you ran outside to empty it. You came back inside to discover me sitting on the bench, tearing up teabags and sprinkling the contents everywhere. Go vacuum, then take a break and have a snack, maybe lie down for half an hour. I’ll do some more dishes, take out the trash, dust and polish, get a drink… I feel more productive this way. So, the floors are vacuumed once again today and ready to be mopped once I get lunch done and we’ll go outside for playtime then down for nap. But, for the record, we’re both pretty glad the vacuum beast is back in its cave for the moment. Sitting at our kitchen table about six years ago, we both asked each other, simultaneously, “What if we could split the wind blowing over a roof and create a vacuum to suck the roof down, instead of up?”


*


They say your abilities exceed those of all others, and even that no one had ever been as strong as you were, but they say you can barely stand the loneliness. Okay. So, you allowed my brother to lower your car about 1.5 inches, maybe 2—he was the only one, wasn’t he?—and then the noise started. It sounds like metal on metal, a noise like powerful squeaking. Since none of us have ever heard anything like it, except from our forays into the realms of hard rock, I had no idea what we were listening to. When you drove up, I assumed it was one of those noise albums you’ve been listening to, like that EP, looped power lines, but the failed brakes and removed steering column proved me wrong.


*

It’s safe to assume that if you invest in one brand-new appliance for the move, make it the vacuum cleaner. Get one with a filter. If you can get one from a family member or at a yard sale that works, great, but this is probably the most important cleaning apparatus in EVERY society on earth. When Christian based morals are cast aside, crime and violence has ALWAYS filled the ‘vacuum’. This is NOT UNREALISTIC FANTASY! I lived in that happy time without the choking influence of the state in every aspect of life. Personally, I have always felt my voice is better speaking than silent. The one time I did participate in the Day of Silence was my junior year in College. On that day my class “Gender, Sexuality, and African American Communities” was not meeting. While the church has been mostly silent on the subject of sex, the world and the devil have attempted to make it their domain. The church has rightly proclaimed biblical prohibitions on the misuse of sex, but it has failed to speak out. When I say the mantra syllable inside my head, this is the voice that gives it a thought and sound. This mental track can also be silent, when I’m imagining a picture, scene, or shape I am doing so on the same level of my mind.


*


My, it felt like torture then, the sand and surf were yards away, and you were forced to withstand a full-body rub down at SPF 30. Decades later, you’re still boasting milky soft skin while your friends OD on amphetamines. You must have seen some of the more outstanding flash at the bar, you may not think this complicated, and maybe even rough, but with good nutrition and a mellower sound, you’ll soon be reading press releases about it all. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration once sent me a questionnaire asking: What was the first song you ever heard by Rush? 2112 from their album of the same name. It’s a twenty minute epic and I love it. What is your favorite album of Iron Maiden? The Number of The Beast. Nothing else. My father was always anxious to get me used to working the soil, outdoors, where background noise was recorded and participants using their headphones turned the volume up high to drown out the surrounding noise. Finally, some of them, the young men and women, have learned to recognize the letters of the alphabet and read words by the syllable at short-lived schools set up to eradicate illiteracy. The effect of the silent version is greatly reduced. As students fail one by one, the County and the teachers remain silent. Public school transfer programs will obviously do nothing to help. Are we silent because we don’t know who we are or what we are for? I wrote a chapter in a book called The Inside Verdict which I began with the words “This isn’t working anymore.” Well, is it any better now? Of course some of it is. But from you, who claim to be “the young vito / a voice of the people / mouthpiece for hustlers / a ventriloquist for doublers…” you seem to be quite silent.


*


You know how when you read a poem, you kind of hear it in a voice that’s coming from the place where your ribs join? You were about to ask for your turn when a voice squeaked from behind us. This was a real voice, booming loud, sending molecules scattering every which way in giant waves through the air. “Do I ever get a turn?” “I think you should go back to Sleep.” “I don’t!” “Please. I was just joking.” “Got you!” Then the room went Silent. “Yes?” “I miss you so much.” “…” “I miss your smile, your eyes, your voice. I miss your everything.” “…” “Say something!” “I’m in no rush to push my projects forward. Since I have a day job now it’s not so important to rush and get to the point where these things are making money. I love my job and hope to be working there for quite a long time!”