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So Quiet It Hurts

I came home last night from work close to around midnight.

By the time I had eaten, brushed my teeth, showered, surfed the web, and settled down to sleep it was past 1am. Not exactly an extreme hour I know, but it was late enough for me. My hair was still a bit wet, but I didn’t care. A little morning rooster head never hurt anyone. Since it’s winter and my folks rarely turn on the heat, I piled on the blankets and tucked myself in. There was no turning back now. My eyes began to close and my mind started to drift.

And that’s when I heard it.

The silence.

Here I was lying in bed by myself … by myself … by myself.

There was no one here but me and my echo … echo …  echo.

Between me and the darkness was so much space. I could literally feel the weight of eternal nothingness start to crush me. How, you might ask? No idea. It is beyond me. Bedtime has become the witching hour. All I know is my first reflexive instinct – which was to reach for my phone.

Save me social media. Save me from this sonic vacuum threatening to suck my soul out and spit it into oblivion. Save me from having to think about life and its meaning as a singular entity in an infinite universe. Tell me I’m someone special. Help me realize that there are people out there that care about me. Validate my being so that I don’t have to feel so alone.

I switched on my reading lamp.

Stop it, Clarence.

Wake up and fight it. Don’t let it consume you. Dispel the settling mists of desire. What is it that you want most?

Search through the emptiness and find a door. Feel around for it. Open it. Are you scared? Allow yourself the comfort of a momentary distraction and you’ll never find out what lies beyond the threshold. Take a deep breath. Go inside and stay there. Spend time with yourself. Resist the urge to satisfy your cravings. Seek instead to find nourishment for your hunger. Embrace the pangs of longing. Only then will the pain of your “loneliness” subside.

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