I write this amid pipes banging from the radiator, video-game revelers in the apartment downstairs, a dog barking, and high-heeled pacing above my head. My neighbor just slammed her door again, making the walls shake. Soon a car alarm in the parking garage across the way will go off, as it likes to late at night for my listening pleasure. Or the old woman upstairs will start yelling into the airshaft for “Frank.” (I do not believe there is a Frank.)
I wonder about living outside the city sometimes; I wonder about the state my head would be in if there were quiet. I’ve gotten used to writing amid noise—I stick in my headphones and pump music over it, or sometimes, when I’m deep into a paragraph and nothing could drag me out of it, all surrounding noise takes on a comforting distant din. Quiet is alien. Quiet sort of scares me. And yet if there were perfect quiet right now, I wonder what ideas might worm their way inside my head. My ideas are noisy. Currently I wonder what kind of obsessive compulsive disorders my neighbors may have, and as for the mystery of Frank, I could ponder that late into the night… especially if there’s a car alarm going off to keep me company.
(Post title stolen, of course, from Steven Jesse.)