It’s a beautiful sound really… I’m usually alone when I hear it… That sound almost speaks to you it seems – It calls gently to remind us of our solitary solace. It sounds different in that old town as it passes through, it brings a slight chill, regardless of the temperature.
I listened as the breeze easily changed octaves as it whispered to me. The old town is always something right out of an old movie. The old wooden planks are worn and cupped, the nails blood rust barely visible from the long past days of usefulness. The once proud planks are now grey with age, cracked and shrunken. The spaces between the cladding create the instrument the wind uses for its soft orchestra.
I listened as the notes floated softly through the air – the high notes come with the strongest gusts. It sings the climax of its natural desert song and falls softly into lower tones as the invisible conductor breaks. It’s not just a lonely desert song… It’s a dusty musical.
As I stood with my back to the conductor, I watched the power of the desert song demonstrate its might. The wind picked up loose top soil and spread it like a blanket, dragging it just above the earth, sweeping the dry main street, but yet never cleaning it.
As the music whispered haunting tones the dead cast members took their turns on the stage of the once proud street. The tumbleweeds varied in size and shape. They matched the melodic sound and timing of the wind. Some paused as if to take a bow before the faint howling pushed them onward, as if run out of town by the courageous and powerful sheriff. Once the tumbleweeds cleared the town limits they picked up speed, looking as though the dread of the old town motivated them until long out of sight.
As the wind continued its cantata one of the few living things joined in, but never at the perfect timing of the conductor. Their high-pitched additions only added to the dreadful drama of empty. The crickets didn’t have the sheet music but added like hecklers to the play of life.
When the occasional high-speed and pitch hit the old town like a cymbal, I heard the groans of rubbing metal. Sometimes the gust was enough to blow both swinging saloon doors inward, striking the adjacent inside walls with a hollow thud. The hinges shrieking softly the need for lubricant as if the tumbleweeds, crickets, or wind would dare to care.
The eerie orchestra plays over and over. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve participated in the show, it still brings out the raw emotion hiding just under the surface… I’m the only one watching… I look for a sign of life, something to inspire me, but only the goosebumps of empty crawling slowly up my spine are revealed.
Sometimes I’m saved by the distant sound of another world, a voice, a ringing phone, anything in the present world that pulls me out of the ghost town I’m trapped inside within my mind. The ordinary yellow legal pad of paper and one of my favorite pens get the day off…
Some days it’s just a ghost town…