Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fiction: Listen

Have you ever stopped and spent a few hours in silence to listen to the sound coming from your house, and I mean really stopped to listen? All houses have those sounds, those creaks and groans as metal and wood settle on foundation or the wind blowing through the gutters that rattle against the dirty window pane. Your feet will crinkle carpet as you step your way into bed, shoes will click against the fake wood linoleum when you walk in the kitchen. Door hinges will softly sigh when new, or creak and whine with age, and the soft hum of the a/c unit as it breathes out to chill your home. Your house has a voice, a life, a unique sound that you can only hear if your very still and quiet.

A friend of mine suggested I try meditation the other day, to relax as well as align myself with my environment in my new house. I don't really believe in much of that new age mumbo-jumbo, but I do understand the value of some peace and quiet. To be honest I had never really ever had it, there's always music or TV playing to distract me. Modern life, right? The price we pay for our advances, that constant hum of electricity and artificially created sounds. I decided to turn everything off, unplug all my electronics and even turn off my modem. I set the A/C to off and made sure everything in my house that could create an artificial sound was off, finding a quiet room far from my kitchen and resting in the center. I sat down on the floor and closed my eyes, focused on my breathing and just...listened. I listened for the sounds in my house.

I heard what I expected at first, the creaking in the wind and the brush of branch on wall. Then I heard a different sound.

The sound still haunts me. I can't be alone in my house anymore without something on, which annoys my roommates but they don't understand. The TV hides the sound, the a/c blasting distracts me, the hum of electricity drowns out any other noise. I can't sleep without music, I can't find peace without something to distract me from the sound I can never unhear. I will never be in my home alone in silence ever again. I can't ever handle that moment. I thought I was the only person to ever hear that sound, to listen to what I should not, but when I looked online I saw I wasn't the only one. Thousands, all around the country, had heard the same sound when alone. All of us are afraid to ever be alone in silence again. What if its in every home, what does that even mean? Why doesn't anyone hear it, anyone listen?

If I was really alone, then how did I hear that sound?

Don't believe me? Sit down in a room away from the kitchen. Turn everything off that might produce a sound, wear comfortable clothing and sit with your eyes closed and listen. LISTEN. Don't even think, clear your mind and just LISTEN. LISTEN.

Hear that?

I did.