Noise & Sound


“Waiting for the Bus at 5:04 p.m. on a Friday, 6/1/2007” Nikon Coolpix 4300, Manual Setting, B&W.

Good Evening:

Part I: Noise.

While waiting for the 6-Parnassus at 8th & Market:

“F— you, man!”

No, f— you, a–hole!”

Siren of an emergency vehicle.

“I’m gonna f— you good, motherf—–!”

Honking of horns. Hammering of a pneumatic jackhammer. More swearing. More people joining in the swearing. Alarm of a firetruck.

“F—— settle this f—— right now, f——!”

The 6 arrives, and I board.

Onboard the 6-Parnassus:

“Can you please move back!”

“Hey! Get your backpack out of my face!”

“There’s no more room!”

“I see plenty of room in back!”

“You stepped on my foot!”

“Will you please! Move to the back! Of the bus!”

“I did not step on your foot!”

“Did too, a–hole!”

“Can you please stop fighting!”

“Shut up, b—-!”

Part II: Sound.

I disembarked at Haight & Fillmore. A long way from my actual bus stop.

The first thing I heard was electronica coming from a speaker set in the second-story window of an apartment above one of the restaurants on the south side of Haight. Aside from M83, I’m not a huge electronica fan, but at least it was music. Then a burst of laughter from a group of friends at the Mad Dog in the Fog. Walking on, I passed under another speaker in another second-story window, playing Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll.” Another bar, another song: Springsteen’s “Land of Hope and Dreams” from Wrecking Ball.

In the next block, the sound of two friends clinking their bottles of Corona together in a toast while standing next to a sizzling grill. A young woman holds back her long light brown hair as she leans over the grill, eyes closed and smiling as she inhales the aromas of grilling vegetables. A loud “yummmmmm.” Then the sounds of the Grateful Dead issuing from the top floor of still another Victorian, while an acoustic guitarist sitting on the front steps plays and sings along with Jerry Garcia. Two friends sit on the steps below him, a beer in each right hand, keeping time by slapping their thighs with their left hands.

Home. A homemade macaroni & cheese. Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert.

It’s official. Haight Street is magic.

Vonn Scott Bair


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