I Am Alone

If you ask someone to describe what a large city sounds like you generally expect them to mention the sounds of public transportation and private cars- honking, squealing tires and screeching brakes. Depending on where they live they might mention street vendors or the hum of the lights.

But rarely do they mention the silence.

It probably sounds contradictory to mention the noise of the city followed by commenting on the lack of it. But I suppose that in part that is because the silence I am referring to isn’t based upon your traditional auditory experience. It really refers to people who sit alone in their homes.

The impetus for the thought comes from personal experience. Following a short trip out of town I returned home ahead of the family. It was close to midnight when I pulled into my driveway. The neighborhood was quiet but then again it normally is. Tonight it seemed even more quiet than normal. Perhaps the broken streetlight contributed to this. The night seemed extra dark and extra quiet.

An overactive imagination made each creak inside my home seem a little ominous. The normal sounds of the house settling set me on edge. All sorts of crazy thoughts wandered through my mind. For a moment I was certain that there was someone else wandering through the house. I froze in place and listened for the tell-tale sign- did I hear breathing or footsteps?

It wasn’t clear.

But what was clear was that I was nervous. The dark can still make me nervous. Inside the man lives the boy who was afraid of the dark. Purposefully I forced myself to inspect each room. I checked all of the windows and roamed around searching for any sign of forced entry, but didn’t find anything to be amiss.

It took the edge off of my unease, but I’d be lying if I said that I was completely relieved.

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7 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack April 26, 2007 at 5:53 am

    It is hard not to get up and look around when you hear those squeaks.

  2. benning April 25, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    I’ve been there/done that! I live in a second-floor apartment which has a front door that is sagging slightly. That means that it opens only with a bit of effort and makes a loud squeak! when it pulls past the jamb. There’s no way anyone, myself included, can enter without making a very loud noise.

    Yet … once in awhile I get out of bed and tip-toe about this one-bedroom apartment to make sure nobody is there. Odd, but normal, I think.

  3. Jack's Shack April 22, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    MBM,

    A teddy bear would be nice. 😉

    Stace,

    Thanks.

    Misanthrope,

    Chuck always knew what to do.

    Chana,

    Welcome back.

  4. Chana April 22, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Jack, I’ve been AWOL for awhile, and it seems you were too.

    Misanthrope, I hear you.

    I like that I live in a city where whatever city noises there are are spread out over a very wide area, and it’s pretty quiet compared to the huge metropolises (metropolii? LOL), until the sound of gunshots gets too close for comfort…

  5. The Misanthrope April 22, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Why is it that when everyone is home the same noises mean nothing, but home alone and the creaks are magnified? Having moved into another house recently requires getting used to new sounds and learning the neighborhood. It’s not a light responsibility being the family protector. My secret is I watch The Rifleman for inspiration, then I can handle anything.;)

  6. Stacey April 22, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Awww, you are a little boy at heart. Welcome back.

  7. marallyn ben moshe April 22, 2007 at 9:41 am

    you need a teddy bear…or a puppy…or a baseball bat…or…

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