The Consequences of Living in Town

Given the choice between urban and rural settings I will lean toward the rural. I like open space. I like privacy. Despite this there is a part of me that likes being part of a community and interacting with people. I’ve found San Luis Obispo to be about the right size of town for me, though the real estate market dictates I’ll have to live in a cardboard box if I want to own a residence here.

One downside to living in town is that I am very conscious of being noisy. Based upon the sounds I hear from my neighbors, the walls of my building and those around me are lacking insulation (that seems to be normal for the warm areas in California). When the neighbor across the street is working out I can hear the whistle of his jump rope and the tick every time it hits the ground. I hear the whir of the remote controlled car the kid next door likes to drive. My elderly neighbor uses a little bell to signal his dog to come into the house, and I hear it.  I know the bands and television shows my neighbors like.

So I do my best to keep from being noisy. I keep my television and music volume low; I play my guitar quietly. I miss playing a guitar at full volume (I haven’t done that since moving to California). In State College I used to walk out behind my apartment into the fields on Penn State land late at night. I’d play and sing as loud as I wanted to under the moonlight. It was cathartic.

And that is one of the consequences of living in town, muted guitar playing.

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