34. Sounds: How would you describe the sounds of your life?
“I am not a graceful person. I am not a Sunday morning or a Friday sunset. I am a Tuesday 2 a.m., gunshots muffled by a few city blocks, I am a broken window during February. My bones crack on a nightly basis. I fall from elegance with a dull thud, and I apologize for my awkward sadness. I sometimes believe that I don’t belong around people, that I belong to all the leap days that didn’t happen. The way light and darkness mix under my skin has become a storm. You don’t see the lightning, but you hear the echoes.” – Anna Peters
I’ve always really liked this quote. I used to think it matched a similar sentiment I held of my own life. In college my personal life echoed that of a 2 AM. The drama of it all, the loud music and equally loud conversations. The late nights spent walking home in the debilitating Iowa winters. My life was a continuous February. Always cold, always ready for spring. The sound of wind against windows, and the crunching of snow under feet. My life was filled with the sound of clinking beer bottles, high heels on basement floors, and the furious sound of typing and flipping textbook pages.
I’m not a 2 AM anymore. My life has ceased reaching that type of volume, but It’s not a graceful Sunday morning either. Although I don’t believe any particular day has the quality of grace. Certainly not any of the days of the week that I’ve been a part of. Maybe I am a Sunday, but a productive one. A Sunday with a schedule that starts with breakfast, and a purpose. It holds the sound of coffee being poured into mugs. It’s the way my dog snores in the middle of the afternoon. His dog food hitting the ceramic bowl.
My bones still crack on a daily basis. Hips and knees cracking as I emerge from my bed. Fingers and knuckles cracking after spending too much time at the keyboard. My ankle clicks at every turn and perhaps that is the symptom of a 2 AM life. A signal of taking spills on asphalt and on dance floors. I don’t have the luxury of belonging to leap days that never happened because the sounds of my reality bring me in closer. The sound of alarm clocks ringing, email icons dinging, smart phones buzzing and all of them won’t let me forget that this is the life I am living.
I’m not beer bottles clinking. I’m the accidental clink of a wine glass going into the dishwasher. The sounds of clothes being tossed in the dryer. All the mumbled train notices that are heard through earphones. The jingling of my dog’s tags when he runs into a room. My life sits on a foundation of all the background noises that I’m just trying to tune in to. Figuring out my story often reminds me of a fuzzy radio show. It’s like constantly going through tunnels and not being able to make out what a host said or only hearing half of your favorite song.
I’m in my car changing stations and what comes through the speakers are bursts of Sundays. It’s all the familiar tracks that I find myself humming without realizing, and ones that I just don’t quite have lyrics for. The sounds of my life are numerous and varied. It’s not a 2 AM or a perfect Sundays. It’s all uniquely me, and I think that’s what I like best.