Last weekend I had several insights, but this is the most interesting so far.
I’ve noticed how I’ve wanted to have the radio and often the TV as well on whenever I am in the apartment. I was not always like this. At first I thought it was just to replace Jack’s voice, which wasn’t constant, of course, but was available.
The other day, with both the radio and a fan on, the fan almost drowning out the radio, I remembered as though connected by an umbilical cord to the fall of 1961. I was 19, on a job with my college in Los Angeles, as far as I’d been away from anything or anyone I knew in my life. I had just moved into a rooming house, brought groceries home after my job, and I had no radio. I had never been so alone. The silence of the room terrified me, and I cried for maybe half an hour. I ended up going home, a decision I always regretted.
After that, I never lived alone again, except for a couple of weeks between a roommate and moving into a commune. And then I got married.
My 74-year-old self is still connected to that 19-year-old self afraid of the silence. I’m trying to get used to silence now. Listen to music or talk, or baseball, if there’s something to listen to, but not just to fill up the silence.
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