The whistling of the bottle-picker at the dumpster this morning was strangely comforting. It was a tune that at that hour, or in that context, I couldn’t recognize. Most likely it was his own tune. His up-before-the-birds tune. His early round-making tune. No matter that it couldn’t be named. The easy melody was charming enough to evoke a small delight and I caught myself smiling, even at three AM.
I contrast that to the self-conscious sub-woofers that use the eternal duration of the adjacent red light to showcase a bass riff that assaults my resting ribcage turning it into a kind of snare drum. There is no hour or context for that. Music that oppresses cannot be justifiably called music. Can it? Yes, I know, ear of the beholder and all that. Still–and of course I might just be showing my age here–but when it comes to tunes, I like to be invited in, not invaded.
And that is what the bottle-picker did. Invited, I accepted, and hardly noticed the rattle of his shopping cart or the dumpster lid dropping on its metal self. All was eclipsed by his tune and tone. And after all, I could hardly begrudge him his three AM stop, it was the middle of his work day.