The normal noises are missing. It’s too quiet. I lie awake waiting for some of the sounds of normality. My favourite music to help me sleep is Rumble (Link Wray). It doesn’t work now.
There used to be a fox coming to the front window, sniffing around and rattling the blinds. Of course, I planted dogs-bane along that side. It stopped the cats, the local dogs, maybe some of the feral rabbits, but not the foxes.
They don’t come now. Why?
Is it because they feel the change too? The too-quiet nights where it feels as if there’s a predator waiting in the dark. Everyone knows it’s there. They can’t see it, can’t smell it, but the silence tells all.
The silence is the indicator.
I lie awake and listen. The house creaks occasionally, but softer, like an old person putting a foot down gently. The trees move in the breezes – when we get them. The tiny drop of water from the sky (what is that stuff, anyway?) pitters like a mouse darting for safety, then fades to nothing.
Not even the sound of the traffic breathing, the ebb and flow of acceleration and braking, the cut and thrust of lane-changes and corner-taking.
The pub is silent.
The houses in the street are silent.
And with the sense of danger and fear comes the sense of uselessness. I mean, what can I do? What do I do?
I can’t do the volunteer stuff anymore – not that I wouldn’t, but I’m not allowed to go there!
And the MIL doesn’t see the need to stay locked inside like naughty children. She wants to go out to eat, to celebrate birthdays, to go to her favourite cafe. And if you want to experience COFS (crank old fart syndrome) just try telling an oldie (93) they can’t have what they always have, what they want and need to get through the week. Eating out is critical.
How to tell her that if either one of us gets caught by this thing, the carers and support people and shoppers and gardeners and all those people she takes for granted — they won’t be coming. If one of us gets sick, we’re both out of the frame.
No computer or smart phone for the MIL (won’t use them), so no online shopping, no access to eCommunity. What then?
And that’s enough of that sort of talking and thinking.
I want to sleep, to rest my head on a pillow and close my eyes and think that tomorrow will be one step closer to …
The writing is an on-again, off-again tirade. The current WIP has changed shape four or five times. I’m looking for hope.
Have you seen hope? Tell me how she is, where she’s going; ask her to sing for all of us.
Yes, this was an excerpt from the journal thingy. It doesn’t include the fear that we’re going to run out of water — our dam capacity is close to 25%, and if people keep flushing and washing their hands with the taps running …
Sorry, I’ll go now, take a walk around the house: writers room to kitchen, through to living area, around the chairs, pat the dog, down the hallway to the library room, back along the hall to the front door, open, look out at the silent and empty world, close the door, walk through the lounge room, wipe dust from the window ledge and big chair, return to the writers desk.
And write. Right. Write.
To write, I might need to stop thinking, stop checking on the state of affairs in the world, stop fearing and worrying and wondering if the cupboards have what we need.