My house is quiet. The kind of quiet that makes most people a little uncomfortable. I can hear every sound. Every noise. The neighbor’s car doors opening and closing. The garage doors. Up and down. When the tinnitus isn’t ringing too badly in my ears, I can hear each clock in my house ticking away. I don’t really remember the last time I turned my television on. I hear each time the refrigerator runs. When the freezer drops new ice. I’ve always been able to hear the trains rumbling away on the tracks behind my house, but for a long time I just tuned it out. But now it sounds like a cannon going off. Even the sound of my fingers typing away on my laptop make a sound that I don’t know if I ever listened to before but I can hear it now.
Tonight I can hear the Minot High School Homecoming football game at the high school directly behind my house. I can clearly make out what the announcer is saying with each announcement and play and I can only imagine how loud it is there. The sound carries. It floats out like a thick fog and covers my house. It’s cold inside my house. I guess I’m having trouble coming to terms and admitting to myself that the summer is over and turning the heat on in the evening is a reasonable option now. I was away in Indiana for a week and the trees were all still very green and it was in the 80’s and low 90’s still. I arrived late into the evening here in Minot and I couldn’t see the trees. What a shock to see that within the week I was gone, ALL of them have turned yellow, orange and gold. Change. Rapid change. I wonder how long I can hold out before I turn the heat on…
It’s the time of year when Christmas trees and decorations are out in stores mixed in with the Halloween costumes & candy with Thanksgiving scarecrows and turkeys in pilgrim hats. Why does it already feel like the year is over and winter is getting ready to sit on my chest? Before you know it – 2017.
I think too much. I read into things. I don’t vocalize and when I do, it’s vomited out without cohesion that somehow only I can understand which frustrates those around me. I’m tired. I’m tired of hurting people. I’m tired of being hurt. I’m tired of allowing myself to be hurt and putting myself in positions where I am. I want to be left alone while desperately wanting companionship. I have lived for the past 23 years with my life in boxes – boxes with contents that never mixed. Home. Work. Music. Indiana. Personal. Relationships. Family. Friends. All boxes. Spinning plates on poles. Attempting to keep multiple boats with holes and cracks afloat while pouring buckets and pails of rushing water out of each of them. Sometimes into them. Often times into them. I was good at it for a while but like trying to extend your arms while holding a penny on your fingertips for an hour – even for money – it’s not possible. Even though it’s a penny, it weighs too much. You’d rather chop off your arm than hold that penny up another second longer.
I drive around a lot. Sometimes I can’t stand to be here so I stay out. It gets to be too much. I don’t mind driving. There was a time when I would spend hours building a playlist to drive somewhere, then blast it the whole way. These days, like at home, the ride is quiet. Not that I don’t listen to things or music, because I do. I’ll always love music. The meaning of it changes and I’m forced to change. I hear songs differently now than I used to. Sometimes songs I’ve know my whole life. I’m not sure if its time or life experience that changes the interpretation of things but the turn of a phrase can change everything to me. I drive a lot. I drive down familiar streets. I look into big picture windows or kitchen windows of the houses when I drive by and wonder about the people and families living there. What their stories are. I think about people I once knew. I wonder if they do the same thing…. Maybe it’s just me. Like I said, I drive a lot.
There are many things that are very vivid to me. People. Places. Smells. Sounds. It can be and often is sensory overload. Maybe that’s why things are quiet here. I’ve already heard too much. Seen too much. Felt too much. So much that I feel numb like I’m living the Pink Floyd song – comfortably numb. I can understand why people numb themselves with drugs and alcohol… or religion…. cats… hording… I’m not passing judgement. Who am I to judge? I get it. Life is hard and fast. So much of my life has been spent chasing things. Dates. Goals. Work. People. Things. I’m tired.
You get to a point where you sink or swim. Yeah – you can tread water and kick around for a while but it’s fatiguing and has no longevity. I’m tired of kicking. I’m not really sure what I know, but I do know that I can’t continue to do it anymore.