Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I was lost in France / In the fields the birds were singing

Morning, originally uploaded by your neighborhood librarian.

You know how, when it's been noisy for a while (say, seven years), and suddenly it's quiet, you can hear everything?

This is the fourth week of the school year, the fourth week that both children have been out of the house for seven hours a day, five days a week, and the first week of the four that I have not been occupied with meetings, trips to the ER, sickness, broken shit, or frantic housecleaning.

I can hear EVERYTHING. Yesterday something terrible happened to a cicada outside the kitchen window. Damn thing screamed for ten minutes. Our new, very quiet dishwasher is not so quiet that I can't hear its soothing murmur over the sounds of crickets outside and the light traffic on Harford Road.

Yesterday I went looking for the only store in town that sells the nice French stationery that I like. I drove with the windows open and the radio off. Nobody was telling me a story about a man who climbed a tree and fell down and hurt his butt. Nobody was making subvocal humming sounds or touching his brother so that the brother would assault him and get in trouble.

I got lost. I sat in a parking lot and used the new stationery to write a letter to a friend who would have been able to get me un-lost if I had had his phone number. I heard crows. I heard a train. I heard an airplane overhead.

Yes, it was overhead. Where else would it be?

I should be reviewing a foot-high stack of skinny books. Some of them are about plants, some about geography. But I cannot motivate myself. The novelty of this situation has me a little stymied.

I should probably get a job.