The Noise in Silence

Distractions in my head keep time with my travels of foot. Like any good shadow, it clings to my thoughts when I am alone or mingling with others, in my work room or in a public arena.

My fidgeting brain tracks sensory stimulation of movement, sound and smell like any great horned owl zeros in on a tiny mouse or a busy beagle to a rabbit. I draw a sight map with plotted locations of the evolving noise. The screaming, crying and stampeding of children in a park are noise. The library or bookstore pits quiet against deafening noise, shattering silence in its confrontation. The hum of electricity expends from copy machines to lights to computers matching frequencies and multiplying in decibels.

Noise still may bloom in the expected quiet when I am at home with shut windows, no phone, television, or clothes washer agitating or dishwasher running.

My voice speaks. My writing mind begins.

I see the details of my story when my imagination is put to task and the scenes write themselves.

A well-rounded woman slides her curvy hips into her vinyl front car seat. The rustling of car keys turns up a key, igniting the engine. A black stilettoed heeled foot depresses the gas pedal, sending the engine to roaring power, belting puffs of exhaust from the tail pipe. She leans up with a straightened back to angle the rearview mirror, pausing to stare at her reflection. She runs a slender index finger along her pouty ruby stained lips, pulls her black sunglasses down from atop her bleached blond head of hair and securely positions them on her nose, covering her eyes blackened by thick eyeliner and heavy mascara. She sits back in her seat. The moments she pauses feel like hours while she stares into the front picture window of the house she escaped from years ago. Her smile opens her to reality as she stirs the trapped stale air with a waving hand. I hear the acceleration blast of the engine as she backs out onto the street, and then the quieting of the engine as it leaves my sight, into the distance

The car’s rubber tires roll over gravel and the brakes squeal as she coasts into a parking space. With a snap of the door handle and a shove with her elbow she opens the car door, steps out. Her white coat opens with the shift of her body to standing. I watch closely as the gravel shifts and pops under her scuffed heels and her ankles begin to wobble. The loosening of gravel stops. Her feet are still. I hear her breath deep as she inhales through her mouth, gasping, and exhaling through her nose, forcing air through small passages. She takes off her sunglasses displacing strands of yellow hair streaking her face. She shades herself by standing in shadows of trees and brush lined up with her at the banks of the water’s edge. She studies the distance while shading her eyes from the sun’s reflection from the cloudy water. Her shout overrides the lapping water swimming toward her. Her eyes meet a rubber pontoon boat squealing as it halts at the grassy, muddy edge. A boy slides his leg over the rubber straddling the inflated balloon sides and squeaks as his naked thighs rub against the wet rubber. Laughter erupts as the boy runs, his feet tapping the grass lightly, imprinting the gravel, displacing stones. Mother and son unite with short arms embracing his mother’s full hips. They breathe in unison falling into a rhythm showing he is of her. His mother’s plump lips part in a lovingly smile as she stares at the boy’s face, wiping wet hair from his moist forehead.

She cradles his face as seen in the picture window.

My mind is quiet now. The noise was in the silence.

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