Last night, after the rest of the family had gone to sleep, I was noticing that the 1:14 a.m. quiet is a strange group of things to feel. Maybe I was listening more since this time was not being filled with the sound of tortilla chips crunching.

Night time quiet, during the late night hours, seems like it needs the sound of television to make it more palatable.

This is also different from the on-the-pillow kind of quiet you hope for when you are trying to go to sleep.

Day time quiet is more of a distance thing. There are things going on outside, but they are separate from me.

Quiet must be a lot like snow, with so many kinds to choose from.

The house is quiet in another way today. Now it is raining, but not a big rain. My typing only makes little pats of sound. In the room across the hall, our daughter’s guinea pig makes the occasional small shuffle of hay or jostles of the plastic water bottle. The only other sounds I hear come from the heater downstairs.

Also, the inside of my head is quiet today, the calm kind of quiet. No arguments, no new frustrations, just the regular cast of post it notes, listing all the current conditions and balances.

Except now, a story character I have been working on is starting to make noise about why couldn’t the things he is worried about be part of a poem, instead of just thoughts he has while driving to his uncle’s funeral in east Texas. I think that character is heading toward some kind of traffic accident if he doesn’t stop complaining.

There goes the sound of the heater again. Thank god.


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