I open my book The Pocket Muse and it asks me to write about the noise that won't stop.
There's a humming in my ears that won't stop. And an endless drone of electronics and noises in the room—the whir of the refrigerator, the creaking of my daughter's chair every time she leans back while typing IMs to her friends, the click of the keyboard that won't stop, can't stop because I have so much to do, so much to write and post and fix and prepare, so many connections to make, so many thoughts to silence so I can sleep when I should be sleeping, the pounding feet that charge down the stairs, followed by the clicking of dog nails on the old linoleum and the "Mom, I think Rocky needs to go pee"...
Slide, goes the sliding glass door. Pound, pound, pound go the feet. Another pair race down the stairs, the door slides open again and "Rocky, come on!" as the two bound up the stairs once more. Giggles cascade down the halls and a strange dripping sound that I can't trace creeps into the air when the other sounds take a rest.
A clinking cup, and the shhhh of water—the faucet goes on for the "last drink of the night." The toilet flushes with roaring and splattering and plunking all the way down the pipes in the wall beside me.
My own voice reminds reluctant kids "Time to go to bed now" since they seem unable to stop all the restless padding on the creaky upstairs hallway to finally crawl under soft blankets.
The dog races down the stairs again. He chomps his late night snack, pushing the dried, same-old, same-old food around with his nose. Lap, lap, slurp goes the water onto his long tongue. He slithers away more quietly now. I hear him licking his chops.
Noises... crushing my creative voice that needs quiet... that I thought required quiet, that now seems to be saying, strangely enough, noises draw me in and make me take notice...
Rustling papers, a squeaking door opens and now the low volume of music I don't recognize comes from Johannah's computer followed by the rising "boos" from the Orange Bowl leveled at poor Ashleigh Simpson. The "bing" of email hits my in-box and the familiar tug to abandon what I'm doing to see what someone else wants...
The one sound that always gets my attention.