It's 10pm. The house is silent.
But it really isn't.
The dog is asleep on the floor. I can hear him whimper in his sleep, his feet pedalling as he runs after something in his dreams. He yelps occasionally, and even wakes himself up. Not for long, and he settles back with a heavy, contented, dog-happy sigh.
It's Friday night. There are fireworks at the Falls. I can hear the bangs, but can't see the show. It is a comforting sound, a sound of summer I have gotten used to, and helps me remember the days of the weeks, even when I forget.
The fan overhead is making an almost imperceptible hum. Constant, rhythmic. I wonder how this sounds to Sebastian, with his constant bombardment of stimuli, that his autism won't let him keep out. Maybe this is why he hums. I don't notice it, until I do. And then I can't NOT notice it.
The highway is close. I can hear a motorcycle rev its way along. Cars drone and drone and drone. It is the heart beat to a city, and it never ends.
Birds outside the window chirp occasionally, even in the dark.
A mosquito hums.
The curtain flaps slightly, and sighs with the breezes that lift it.
These sounds are so different from what I hear all day. I hear Sawyer's voice, non-stop, asking and yelling and talking and playing. I hear the TV downstairs, repeating and repeating and repeating, as it soothes Sebastian's need to control the world around him. I hear him hum and skip as he travels for more juice, more snack, for pictures, for Kleenex. I hear the crash as the cats once again tumble into something or someplace they don't belong. The feline grace inherent to all cats seems to have not blessed these two yet. Maybe when they are older.
I hear children playing in other yards, radios playing in other cars, other lawns being cut by other people with their own lawnmowers. I hear everything.
Right now, I am enjoying my silence, which isn't really quiet. My full, round, complex silence. It is a summer silence. Winter silence is different; it is stark and beautiful. Summer silence is humid, and thrumming, on the verge of bursting.
My silence has stopped. Little feet pad to the bathroom. Lights are flicked on, and a questioning face appears in my doorway. My silence is going to be filled with little girl sighs, and soft snores. Flip-flopping limbs and sweaty brows.
Good night, silence.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "night".