The spin cycle of the washing machine, the whirring of the ceiling fan, the bubbling water in the fish tank all tell me I’m still here. I’m still alive. But when the power goes out, there are no house sounds. Everything is still, all is calm.
I sit back and close my eyes when the power goes out. For a while I don’t worry about how I’m going to pay the bill. I don’t worry about the food spoiling in the refrigerator, losing hot water in the shower or the house getting too hot or too cold. I don’t care I can’t watch TV. For a few moments, silence is a friend indulging me with a taste of what is to come.
I used to get so much joy in the songs of birds, the chirps of bugs; the laughter of friends at restaurant tables. Cars passing by in the middle of the night were a lullaby comforting me, letting me know I was not the only one who couldn’t sleep.
But now I hate the sounds of life. I hate the sounds of worry and fear. Their taunts constantly remind me I’m still here, still alive…still miserable. I still have bills to pay with the very little money I get from a job I hate. I still have a husband who makes me feel all alone. I still have friends who are never there when I need them.
And I still have a voice no one seems to hear but me.
If I were brave, I’d kill myself and end it all, but I fear hell. I don’t like summer, so I know I won’t care much for hell. But I don’t fear death and I want to die. Is there a way to get there sooner? A way to send death a message to come for me?
It’s not the noises of nature and household appliances I wish to escape. It’s the noises of lies and of injustice. Noises of hate; I can’t shut them out. I hear them everywhere: on the television, at church…from my husband. I hear them over the sounds that used to give me peace, like children playing, the choir singing. I can’t even remember the sounds I loved because I don’t hear them anymore.
I wither like a flower, but won’t die like one. Like ice, my insides melt, but won’t evaporate. Death has no sound, but I listen for it anyway. It will come for me…or I will go to it.
Either way I will find silence.
© D.L. Lunsford
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