I finally arrived at a new home, escaping from some eternal works against which my spirit unfortunately struggled. Every morning I drank coffee in front of the crane integrated into the landscape of my window, trying an assortment of helmets and plugs incapable of soundproofing such a cement mixer festival. An exasperating screech pierced my meninges, because noise, as Schopenhauer defined, is “an interruption of thought.” After months of searching, we found an apartment that overlooks nothing, and where you can breathe the mint. Everything seemed idyllic until I caught a glimpse of the B side of the surrounding manicured gardens. “Do the machines come by often?” I asked the real estate agent. “In the fall, once a week.” And, naive that I am, it seemed credible, even reasonable.
September was starting and the tops of the cherry trees were lighting up with yellow touches. From the seventh glass window, the whistling of the wind filtered through the windows, predicting stormy Madrid-style peaks. In any case, it was a sound like the hum of cars entering a highway. Another thing is the disabling noise.
I remember a conversation with the writer Enrique Vila-Matas about the slow neuronal destruction produced by constant, high-pitched, pounding screams. And he told me a real episode that he called: “the day of the flying vegetables,” in which he ended up throwing tomatoes at the courtyard of an adjacent school. “The noise grew so intense that it had prevented me from writing for months. That day I gave free rein to my killer instinct. And I'm sorry, but I knocked down a girl. They filed a complaint that was dismissed, because I demonstrated that it was impossible for the vegetable to have left my house. Like a good method actor, I argued: 'It's impossible, there are no children in my house!' As if I wasn't capable of doing it."
This time it has not been the works that follow me wherever I go, like a conspiracy, nor the bottles - which also touched me in another era - but the roar of machines that progress should have buried a long time ago. Invasive, irritating and dangerous, their 100 decibels flout the law. They replaced brooms and rakes, which cleared the streets of leaves when their carpet was already too thick, the same one that over the years inspired artists like Van Morrison in that song pregnant with autumn: When the leaves come falling down.
But the wedge trend prevailed among gardening tools. So much so that, today, I have become an expert observer of those who advance with a leaf blower between their legs, using it as in a video game. There are those who seem aware of the danger they wield and walk hunched over. Perhaps they have spoken with their pulmonologists, a sector that has already warned about its harmfulness to the lungs, since by dispersing garbage dust, fungi, bacteria and all types of toxic remains, it enhances infections. Their technology is more obsolete than a Seat Panda and their advantage is stupid, because instead of cleaning, they get dirty.
Nowadays they are one of the most polluting devices, and it is surreal that they roar every day next to the recycling bins in search of the beautiful feuilles mortes. It does not console me to know that green justice will soon fall on these oil burners, cornered by their electric version, 20 decibels less. Autumn in the cities will continue to be trapped by blowing hysteria.