Shaped like a little nissen hut, it arrives, pulled by a grey van.
About a metre high, it is the colour of a canary and it has a round lid on top. I recognise the blue initials on the side. It is owned by the Housing Association.
A man gets out of the van and attaches a cable to its side. He unrolls the cable, puts the plug end through the community room window.
He strolls inside, evidently to push the plug into a socket and switch it on.
An intrusive mechanical Noise ensues. I think someone must be using a chainsaw in my kitchen. I go to check, but no, The Noise is roaring from hollow inside the yellow mystery.
The Conveyor of Noise absents himself, leaving The Noise Machine to do its job of producing The Noise.
I close the windows. The Noise hammers at the panes, forces its way through the double glazing, squeezes angrily through the cracks. It will not be crushed or diminished.
I shut down the thingies and batten the whatsits, but The Noise continues to crash through, battering at my senses.
I study the yellow machine. The Noise. must be contained in the yellow belly of the mini-hut.
I wonder where The Noise came from – what is its natural habitat?
What does it look like?
How does it reproduce?
What does it feed on?
What are its dreams?
Is it an endangered species?
How was it caught – with nets, or with a lure of kindly words or sweet treats which cunningly led it to the nissen hut, through the trapdoor at the top, and into its dark prison?
Is it well cared for, are its needs being met? I can guess the answers, and I don’t like them.
The entrapment of The Noise presents many ethical questions.
Two hours pass noisily. The Conveyor of Noise returns, goes into the community room.
Above a sudden silence, I hear the welcoming lullaby of cars passing along the road nearby.
The Conveyor reappears, rolls up the cable, detaches it from the tucks it into the passenger seat of the van, lumbers around to the driver’s seat, climbs in, and drives off, towing The Noise Machine – doubtlessly satisfied that he has enriched the lives of the few dozen tenants in this block of sheltered homes, with the sounds of wild machinery, imprisoned in a canary coloured, undersized nissen hut. Freed from the ear-splitting attack by the poor, incarcerated Noise, I am moved to pity. painfully aware that only the sound escaped; the essence is still contained.
Sometimes, an animal rescue woman brings cats and dogs to the community room, where special needs and elderly residents are free to pet them, while they listen to a talk.
Maybe the Noise Machine is intended to enrich our lives in a similar way.
It doesn’t work for me.
The Daily Prompt’s word for today: Conveyor
©Jane Paterson Basil