PALAVERING WITH BEULAH: Morning sounds of alone

By Beulah Rampage Fishbite

It is still a bit dark, soon daylight will be here and all will seem different.  Right now, there is a sense of isolation, privacy and solitude.  As I sit here and really pay attention I find myself playing the sound game…what do I really hear?  The cuckoo clock ticking of course and if that rascal bird emerges his song overpowers all else.  The clock does not keep correct time and I am never sure how much singing that bird will do on his random appearances.  But, I do love the sound of the ticking, a comforting homey sound.  It must be raining for I hear an occasional car splashing along.  It must be windy, I can hear the remaining leaves rustling.  Someone is in distress because I hear a far-off emergency vehicle’s siren.

My upstairs neighbor is awake, I know this because I hear a chair dragged across the floor.  Sometimes I hear a door, or maybe someone in the hall but it is a bit early for that yet.  One day I heard a neighbor wailing and crying for help.  I called the manager and help arrived for her – she was so frustrated because she could not open a jar of soup.  Do not laugh, that is a real dilemma.

I am surprised at times like this when the heater kicks on, it fills the space with sound.  A low rumbling sound followed by a comfortable warmth.  The refrigerator may run a bit and remind me of its presents.  And my old alarm clock has developed a hum that no amount of pounding can eliminate. No dripping faucets, no nearby water heater, no nearby elevator.

Then there are the quiet sounds I generate.  On a quiet morning like this I notice the sound of my coffee cup as I set it down.  If it is full, it is a gentle set down resounding assurance of more sips of joy.  If it is very low or empty, a clack of despair.  There is the never noticed sound of the keyboard and mouse click.  Only hear them on mornings such as this one. If I go fill up my cup my wheelchair has a rhythmic squeak of tire on tile. Waste can lid, flatware drawer, squoosh of hand sanitizer bottle.  I have a battery-operated clock a friend made for me and this morning I can hear the hands moving.

I am not one to talk to myself so on those very rare occasions I say something while alone it comes as an embarrassing surprise.  I do not know why it embarrasses me.  When I speak it is always a dry crackly kind of word or two so I clear my throat and open a real dialog with me.  I tell myself I surprised me, it is ok to talk out loud to myself and that is about as far as it gets.  I do not sing.  I cannot sing, never have been able to.

So, on a morning like this after I enjoy all the wonderful silence I call on Alexa to fill the space a bit.  Ask her about the weather, tell me the joke of the day, and then play some pleasant classical music.  I take my clacky cup to the kitchen, shake the French press and manage one more cup of coffee.  What a nice sound the pouring makes.