I don’t like quiet. Silence gives me the willies.
I always had my headphones on, or the stereo blasting, or I’d sing (admittedly this was more to annoy the mister than anything else). I played the guitar and oboe for years, though that has faded and now I mostly play the stereo.
I would dance in the kitchen while cooking, my hips keeping rhythm with Sergio Mendez. I would jog with Spiderbait and Rammstein and A Perfect Circle pounding in my ears. I'd lounge in the bathtub with Nina Simone in the background or I’d sucker the mister into slow-dancing in the living room to Harlem Nocturne.
The mister would often come in from the garage and remind me to turn down the stereo, as he could hear it over his power tools, and it was probably driving the neighbors crazy. He’d chuckle when we were neck deep in a home-improvement nightmare and he’d turn off his sander only to hear me screeching along, off key, to whatever was playing on my ipod at the moment.
My life was accompanied by music.
But for a while there, right before being laid-off, when I spent more time weeping than working, and during unemployment, it was quiet. I didn’t feel like dancing. I didn’t want to sing. I didn’t want music to keep me company.
I wallowed in silence.
A few weeks ago I was expecting a couple of darling friends to come over for dinner and I was in the kitchen getting the meatloaf in the oven and making garlic potatoes au gratin. Something’s strange, I thought to myself. It’s so quiet.
I plugged my ipod into the stereo and Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That sounded through the speakers. I twirled my way back into the kitchen accompanied by the pounding beats and set back to work.
Startled by the noise, the mister came in from taking out the trash and just stood there, grinning at me.
I guess he missed the music too.