Sensitive

Is it a common thing? After a few days silence, the everyday sounds: dishes, shouting, the constant bicker back and forth, a call, television, dog tag tinkling, the very click of the walls when water rushes, footsteps, car moving, garage door up and down, cough, laugh, shout- it gets to me.
 
Mostly, my brain keeps looking for the phrase mark, the pause, a dying down of cacophony, it doesn’t come. Even the light brush, brush of dishwasher- I wanna bury somewhere.
 
I shouldn’t be alone, I guess. I like it so. Noise, I would rather it was self-imposed. Thud of glass following my motion. Spark of sound when I will it. I get dysfunctional, given a reprieve for a little while.
 
But nature doesn’t put the hurt on me, the same. Bees, leaf rustle, a far-off sound of human industry removed from what I hafta be responsive to. Nature’s sounds are impersonal, and more welcoming. I can be a part, or not. Observe, curl my pink, soft, transitive body into rock ledges that forget me, and persist. I like that. Guilty, but-
 
I like human sounds to be far, far removed. 
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10 thoughts on “Sensitive

  1. This is so true for me. Human sounds, ringing phones, loud talking, slamming doors, drive me to the brink of insanity. There is only so much I can take. I like my home to be my sanctuary. Is there some sort of noise canceling device available to assist?

  2. Sounds like a topic for a good master’s thesis. I see it as a bit of a control issue– any unwanted sound (especially human-originated) is viewed as an unwanted intrusion that cannot be stopped (controlled), and as such, becomes an irritant. The sounds of nature are inevitable, therefore acceptable, but add a chainsaw and all manner of ire comes to the forefront. I think we tend to loathe those human enterprises that we cannot control. Just an observation…

  3. I like a natural silence — the way it is around my home during a weekday when the only human sounds are those I bring about. Filling in the gaps are the sounds of nature, and in a way those are more peaceful than absolute silence. When the guys come home in the evening, the noise level goes way up, forcing me to adjust. It’s shattering, in a way, that adjustment from a peaceful, quiet day to the noise of men in the house.

    It took me a while to learn to appreciate the sounds of nature in our surroundings. When we first moved out here it was springtime and the spring peepers sounded like some alien spaceship coming in for a landing. Then the weather warmed up even more and the frogs mated which brought on all sorts of discordant (to me at the time) noises. Green frogs, in case you haven’t heard them, sound like they’re playing pong ball (or plucking a banjo). Every few hours during the night an owl would hoot and I’d jolt from sleep into an adrenaline-rushed awakeness.

    I’ve often thought I’d make a very good hermit. I enjoy silence. And aloneness.

  4. Oooooh, I so get this! Now, I do love, when I choose, to sit outside on a weekend at home and listen to the sounds of the neighborhood. But in that example I am in control as I can always step inside to quite again. Some people need utter darkness to sleep. I need silence. My poor older son knows this all too well as he is often the guilty soul who has broken the peace in the house at night while I try to sleep. Then he hears a whole lotta noise coming from me!!

  5. You got your fingers in your ears in the photo right next to these words, given the subject i should maybe whisper, very jagged and sharp, maybe C# at the beginning and then a soft curling in at the end. (whispering very quietly, how i would love to hear you podcast this one especially so i know how you make vowel sounds in your dialect and to hear the music in your writing the way you hear it, that would be a wonderful thing for me and i think for others too,)

  6. I can’t stand silence. I love the whoosh of car tyres on the nearby road, sirens, voices calling. I moved to the middle of nowhere when I had my eldest and it nearly killed me, headed back to the burbs as far as I could. I love noise, loved living in London prekids just cos of the sounds, a great big teeming world all around me. That said, sounds in the house, tv, nintendos, kids squabbling, that drives me mad when I’m trying to concentrate. I love natural sounds though, rain sputtering, wind lifting leaves, thunder. Sorry, I’m hijacking again, sigh, see that’s why your stuff is so good, people really connect to it, to you. And Paul’s right, podcasts would be great…..when you get enough peace and quiet to record :)

  7. I love the sounds of nature, you’re right they’re so much more welcoming and impersonal. My favourite thing about this time of the year is the birds starting to sing again. I’m working for two weeks in a very noisy environment and although it’s a great job, the noise is totally doing my head in…

  8. Once upon a time I sold computers and related gizmos. We got some of them new fangled noise-canceling headphones in and put them out for people to try. “I’m people,” I thought to myself. So I put them on, I didn’t even put on any music I just flipped the switch to turn on the noise cancel.

    It was insane. I could still hear sounds like people talking and such, but all the hum of the world was just OFF. It was peaceful and I was impressed with them. I had work to do so I took them off again and I immediately felt like somebody punched me in the brain.

    I could hear all the fans in all the display computers, and the air conditioning, and the hum of the florescent lights and the buzz of traffic outside and it was too much. For a second I thought I might go mad.

    Then my internal filter caught up and my brain started to ignore those sounds. They returned to the background and sanity returned.

    So I don’t own a pair of noise canceling headphones, because I would never want to take them off, and when I did it would be too dangerous. I might not make it back from the brink next time.

  9. Stevo- The noise cancelling technology is sort of a new idea to me. I never pay attention to these things, but Slothboy’s story was pretty interesting in that regard. (see comment thread)

    Bob- It’s possible. A control issue, hm. I really just kind of hate the noise, though, too. That might arise from the same impulse, hard to differentiate.

    Paul- No mic. I guess I could use someone elses. I’m afraid it would ruin my writing reputation if the blog community discovered I sound like Mickey Mouse on crack.

    jo- yeah, it’s a killer when you’re trying to concentrate, but I thought so! Some people are more sensitive to the noise. And I think lifestyle can actually make a person more so. Like what people experience after sensory deprivation. Some lifestyles are like selectively sensory deprived, and the clash of adapting to something new can be painful. City mouse/country mouse comes to mind.

    Crafty Green Poet- I like how you put that, ‘welcoming and impersonal’. Strange how the impersonal can seem welcoming, it’s such a nice departure from the expectations of everyday life.

    Slothboy- Yeah,, this was a similar experience, though not so extreme. I like your description, ‘like somebody punched me in the brain’. Here, I felt more like someone was continually, gently poking me with the end of a twig. At first it was fine, but it wouldn’t freakin’ cease.

    It can kinda drive a person insane.

  10. One word stands out in this piece of writing for me. ‘transitive’ applied to your body. Not transitory. Transitive is a type of verb which requires both a subject and one or more objects, which makes this a unique choice of adjective to apply to your body. I know how smart you are, smarter than you struggle to appear at times, so this could have been a very deliberate and informed choice, a statement about your physical being and its need for an exterior, an object for the subject to act upon, in order for you to become aware of it, which done with one word is brilliant writing,

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