Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Rest Is Silence

Since arriving in Asheville, when I've woken up in the middle of the night, I've had to remind myself where the heck I am. And I've only been waking up because of all the noises. Michael doesn't hear the noises, of course. Nor does Henry. I heard similar noises back in Los Angeles, but I had lived in that house long enough to identify and classify all of them. The medieval creaking of the heater. The floor boards settling. Henry getting up and turning around before settling back down for the night. They still woke me up, but I knew them all.

New house. New noises. I've identified the heater and floorboard noises here. I've also identified the refrigerator noise, which I can hear all the way from the kitchen downstairs. But there are all these other noises which will need to be investigated and cataloged so that when I wake up, I can tell myself, "Oh, it's only the refrigerator," then go back to sleep.

Then there are the morning sounds. A cacophony of nature in surround sound. In Los Angeles, sometimes we'd get a bird or two in the tree outside our bedroom window, but we were much more likely to wake up to the sounds of passing traffic or construction from down the street. Here, there is nothing but trees all around us. So we have chirping and tweeting and whistling and warbling, as well as a little honking and quacking from the lake. There's also this bizarre twanging sound coming from the edge of the water. It's like the strumming of a banjo string. Before you start thinking of Deliverance, let me assure you that it's not "Dueling Banjos." Just an occasional twang, twang, twang.

Before, I might have told people, "We moved to a small mountain town in North Carolina. It's so quiet here." And it is quiet here, if you consider the absence of big city noise. But all the other sounds are practically deafening. It will be interesting to see (and hear) how soon I get used to it all, and it just becomes white noise to me. For now, though, Michael and Henry are both in a deep sleep, while I'm wide awake and blogging about sensory overload.

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