a writing exercise mistaken as an exercise in writing


The scraping sound grew louder.., and louder. It had been a late night to early morning and I’d just gotten to sleep, so it was particularly disturbing. And just when I thought it had come to an end prompted by a pause in pattern but just a tease - the scraping sound returned even louder and continued to grow; without regard; approaching and closing-in.., the consequences promised to be dire.

The sound had now grown in level and pitch to the point I was sure it would break my brain; then startled by a sudden flash; a fleeting moment of clarity; I now recognized it – the sound. I knew what that awful sonic assault was and I was right; the consequences would be dire..., absolutely dreadful.

It was the street cleaner; meaning this was street-cleaning day and I was parked on the street during a forbidden point-in-time; and I would be severely punished; a fine so big it would warrant a warrant and priority motivation pled-out to a costly finance scheme.

Sure there was the possibility that I didn’t get tagged – everything is possible. But it’s life’s nuance in context that keeps us from falling off the edge of the earth; and just as sure I wouldn’t fall off the edge of the earth, today; I was that sure I got tagged because it’s street-cleaning day - a fixed point in time - and I know the meter-maid and what’s worse.., she knows me.

She was from my past while troubling for my future or more specifically; me in association with my sister. She thought it was me that was keeping them apart. Of course it wasn’t true, she’s not even my sister but what I thought a one-nite-stand; now it seems all a lie.

The scraping sound grew louder.., and yet louder. Just as I was falling back to sleep they start working on the apartment next door just recently vacated when the tenant was led away in four-point-restraint. A quiet guy, kept mostly to himself – seemed nice enough – although he did have a beard like I just don’t feel like shaving today; but the FBI says he was planning to blow a bridge.

And from the neighbor of my neighbor; “So I know this guy who knows this guy that sleeps with this girl who no longer sleeps with her husband - some cog in the DHS bureaucratic machine.” He tells me.

“And I hear it was a set-up.., a con..,”

“A false flag? You heard that from the guy who knows this guy that sleeps with this girl who no longer sleeps with her husband - some cog in the DHS bureaucratic machine?”

“No. My mother’s boyfriend, Fred, who reads a lot.  And he says.,“

But I can’t hear - that scraping sound from next door has grown too loud and been joined by howling leaf-blowers from outside and the dude’s mouth is moving but meaningful measures are shattered and absorbed by harmonics sending me falling off the edge of the earth.


The scraping sound grew louder – and louder - as did I hours later; regaining focus just outside an approved perspective, “This is fucking madness”; I screamed over the full orchestra of noise that holds a city together “It doesn’t have to be like this.,” I passionately pleaded, “It could be anything we want. And this is what we accept?” I shouted for all to hear; but there was no one that could listen.

The scraping sound grew louder - and still louder.


© 2016 by Steve McNuttin