In the evening sometimes I’ll hear the usual back alley barking dogs, revving engines, and scattered and random gunshots, depending on the season. Often times I’ll hear the buzz of a circling Cessna above the city, an eye in the sky causing noise pollution.Â It’s an outlying metro neighborhood, there always seems to be some sort of commotion.
I’d been laying in my bed in the bus for a while, after another day of distractions. The nightfall starts showing up early, before 5PM, and it’s almost quiet, although the evening chorus of my summer surroundings play fresh in my memory. The sounds of silence during the winter solstice are something else altogether.
Sometimes I’d hear a not so distant rumbling of a train, followed shortly by the horn and passing of its cars, otherwise just the noise of the wood stove and the evening drone of the neighborhood winding down for the night. By the time the last of the stacked logs have fallen into a pile of embers in the stove, the only racket is in my brain, and maybe the wind and weather if there is any.
A low pitch hum in the distance sounds like the hydraulics of a far away and powerful waterfall, and although the James River is less than a mile away, I know it’s not that or another Norflok Southern freight train about to pass, it’s simply the lack of sounds that kind of unsettles me. The feedback of my restless thoughts inside my mind, trying to find some semblance of peaceful evening, maybe even some sleep.
I wake up and notice some smoke from the wood stove rolling past one of the opaque bus windows, before crawling out of my sleeping and stepping onto the cold floor. The ground outside is frozen, the crunching of the leaves is in unison to the creaking of my cold joints, another day starts as steam rises up from the bushes and the ground beneath near the alley way…