it’s quiet here tonight.  every so often the slurp of wheels on wet pavement rises like a wave, and ebbs away.  multiple fans whip the still air into a momentary wisp of breeze, but that seems to fade, too.  click click click…keyboarding percussion.  comforting sounds, all confirming the pleasure of summer, and open windows and few months of precipitation that isn’t frozen.  reassuring as these whispers are, they resound against a backdrop that is entirely new to me:  total silence.  black, velvety, deep, absorbing, empty.

i was unaware of the chatter that once filled this now vacant space; as unaware as a fish is of water.  i hadn’t listened in for a long time, thinking (like a four year old) that because i didn’t want it, it must no longer be there.  as far as i knew, my own self approving internal chatter had long since crowded out any need to wonder what my parents might think about me or what i was doing at any given moment since i started my own life at 19.

to my terrible surprise, it turns out that channel was still beaming its signal directly to my heart.  on the day each of them died, i wasn’t scanning for approval (or even better, disapproval) as i had once upon a time.  but i knew, as every child who has been even a little loved knows, that not one day, possibly not a few hours went by, when at least two living souls on this planet didn’t wonder about me.   two whole people, forever asking themselves, i wonder how she’s doing today?

they aren’t wondering anymore.  if there is another side of this fence, i suppose mom and dad get to know everything, and i’m sure they can see how i am.  and if the only new world they inhabit is solely inside me, well, now they know as much as i do, which may not prove to be very helpful.  but their soundwaves are gone forever.  and that is no kind of comfort, but so far it is the only thing that forces me to face the new world that lies ahead.