Sunday, November 16, 2008

no sound in the house. a silence maintained by force: shut door, cat curled in the closet, fifteen unplugged appliances. a silence interrupted only by the most basic of daily noises: neighbor coughing, mouse scratching, trapped behind the bedroom wall. the heater clicks on, releases three puffs of steam. seventy-five, eighty degrees. when i sweat, it makes no sound which is the same as when i breathe. face pressed against a window pane. looking out, not in. the wind picks up, streams in through the insulation. a whistling, high pitched. i hear nothing. the difference between silence and quiet is a matter of appearance, personal demeanor. when someone knocks at the door, i do not jump up, run down the hall: hand paused on the door handle who's there? nor do i feel any sort of thrill when the phone rings. a call from the pharmacy, most likely; perhaps my sister's wet vowels, into the reciver:
today the baby.... no, i don't have to speak unless i choose. i can sit here all afternoon, brushing my hair, smoothing out the wrinkles in my skirt with my bare hands.