While going on a 2.7-mile jaunt around the vicinity of his compound with his trusty K-9 unit on Monday night, which included a delivery mission to a nearby operative, a visit to the local financial institution's automatic teller machine to deposit newly-acquired Militant funds and overall non-bicycling exercise, at about 10:02 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (the Militant loved typing that out...) on March 10, he heard it, and it was quite fascinating.
Actually it wasn't what he heard, but, to paraphrase the late Miles Davis, what he didn't hear that was fascinating.
The Militant resides in the central region of Los Angeles (neither absolute Westside nor Eastside - and regardless of what the hiptards say on the latter) and inevitably hears all sorts of sounds - the hollow roar of the 101 in the distance, the sneezing air brake compressor of the articulated Metro buses passing by, even the occasional ghetto bird chopper circling (as it is doing while the Militant types this entry), the city is a cacophony of all sorts of noises and sounds. Born into this environment, he has alwas felt it's an inherent part of the terrain. Occasionally he will make an excursion outside of the City, even outside of the country to enjoy the change in scenery, but this particular moment he noticed - albeit temporarily - things sounded different.
He heard the sound...of silence.
Not absolute, deafening silence, but that the usual background urban noise orchestra took a tacet for a few measures and allowed the sound of a gentle breeze to take a solo. The silence that allowed the Militant to hear only the sounds of his own footsteps, the light jangling of his K-9 unit's collar tags and an infant crying across the street. Perhaps two passing cars made their presence, but even their sound was rather muted, and most noticeably, the sound of crosstown traffic on a nearby unspecified major avenue was noticeably absent for those few minutes. At first it felt like a Twilight Zonesque moment of altered reality, but after it had sunk in, the Militant took the time to relish this rare moment of utter calm.
As the Militant and his K-9 unit approached the compound's street, he took pause on the corner to take it in. The hush continued, the only sound was his K-9 unit panting.
But within moments, the distant roar of traffic emanating from the heart of Hollywood could gradually be heard, like an audio engineer slowly turning up the volume level on a mixing console, and as he walked even closer to the compound, the usual noises gradually faded in. "Welcome back," reality told the Militant, as the sound of sneezing bus brakes passed by along the nearest cross-street.
But the Militant was glad to hear it - or not hear it - while it lasted.