city mouse, country mouse

It is such a shopworn cliché: the city-dweller cannot sleep once away from all the familiar city noises. The country/small town is simply too quiet and bucolic to allow rest! (See: John Cusak in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.)

It's a cliché because it's true, goddamn it.
It's 2 a.m. and I am being kept awake by crickets. There seems to be a cricket-noise convention upon the front lawn of my building in Cincinnati, and the damn things won't let me rest, although I am exhausted. I am very seriously missing the random neighborhood noises of Chicago (loud bangs that are either a powerful firework or a gunshot, cars careening down our alley, reggaeton from the neighbors' backyard, police sirens at top volume) and the sleep that accompanies these noises. If someone would send me a mixtape of soothing city sounds, I would gladly embrace this simplistic, overly-broad characterization used by somewhat lazy writers if I could get some damn sleep.


lalaland13 said...

I don't live in a big city, but I'd like to sometime in the not-distant future. But when I was younger, I'd stay at my grandfather's house in rural Oklahoma and it was so quiet it scared me sometimes. Scared me and depressed me. Then the train would come by and it would be the loneliest sound in the world...OK, apparently I'm trying to write a bad Southern gothic now, so I'll stop.

If things are too quiet, I can't sleep. I need a fan or something going, and at least a little outside noise.

And thanks for your efforts to turn Ohio blue. Please do. My state has no shot, alas.

Anonymous said...

I've never lived in a big city, but I grew up mere blocks from the interstate and a busy road, so the sounds of cars and such are so soothing to me. I'd never get any sleep if I lived in the country. All I'd do is sit up at night, listening for every little creak in the house, certain it was an ax murderer or something. Yeah, I'm a little paranoid.

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