My Sounds of Silence

When you walk into my home, either the stereo is on, the TV is blaring from the other room or I am talking to my cats.  I do not enjoy silence, with one exception.  The last 45 minutes of my day, I listen to the same Sounds of Silence.

The hum of the air cleaner, annoying during the day, becomes the timekeeper for the night time melody.  One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight, one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight.  The rythm echoes from the basement through the hardwood floors, telling the rest of the house how to keep time.

The cats are the playful melody of the lullaby.  They have been sleeping all day and are now convening at the food dishes, planning their mischief for the night.  When the sound of crunching kibble stops, if I listen closely, I can hear them start their rounds, down the hallway and into the front window.  If there is a ticking in the music, one of the beasts needs a pedicure.  I will hear them dance through the house all night long.

The furnace always seems to chime in at the same time each night.  It coughs and sputters first as if to draw attention to the upcoming solo.  It’s opening note is strong and loud and makes its metal frame shake.  When the hot air of this blowhard has warmed the house’s sweet spot, the hallway where the thermostat sits, he retires from the spotlight and is quiet until he feels the chill of his next cue.

The owl from the neighbour’s yard chimes in at odd intervals.  His motion sensor is a bit too sensitive, causing him to hoot at stray cats, birds, the wind, shadows.  During the summer months, I’ve been known to wander next door and hide Mr. Owl.  In the winter, the closed windows seem to mute his hoot, making him part of the chorus rather than a headliner.

During the daylight hours, I hear only what I’d describe as “traffic” coming from the main drag three blocks over.  By the time I retire, I can hear single cars and even tell from what direction they are entering the stage.  I can count them now, like counting sheep.

Behind the baton is the Sandman.  He leads the night time orchestra through the same routine each evening.  While his timing is never consistent, he manages to keep the whole thing going until the comfort of the harmony lulls me to sleep.

There is an encore performance again tomorrow night.


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