I said hello to the Con Edison workers, they were pulling up on my block. I was leaving. It was 8pm. Even watched one drag an air hose across the street while I talked to one of the other guys about something that smelled good being cooked in one the apartments in the valley of buildings surrounding their work truck.
“Tell you where it’s not coming from.”
I pointed at our window right above.
Anyway, I got on the 1 train and took the subway up up up. Went out to a bar in the Bronx till about midnight.
When I got back to my street, the Con Ed guys were still there and the block was a war zone. There were all these crazy high powered lights set up and two jack hammers going. Some emergency repair.
I went in to our apartment and Rae was talking on the phone to a friend in California. She was yelling real loud into the phone to be louder than the jackhammers. Half way a scream, but a normal conversation.
“YEAH MAYBE WE’LL GO TO THE BEACH THIS WEEKEND OR GO SEE THAT KILLER DINOSAUR MOVIE.”
I brushed my teeth. The noise clammored on. All lifeforms vibrating at the same frequency tonight, boy. This block anyway. We laughed about it (life), and went to bed, with the jackhammering going off right below the window. The high powered lights shining in our window. The hiss of the compressed air. The upheaval of the normal world.
You live here long enough, nothing phases you.
At one am my wife lifted her head from her pillow. The noise had stopped. That’s what woke her. And she was talking in her sleep, she said: “Where do you think that smell is coming from? Someone’s cooking something good.”