Silent and Sleeping

Dearest Rachel –

Mornings are the best times I’m given to compose something for you; Daniel is still asleep (so I don’t feel compelled to hang out with him, wasting time – although to call spending time with him ‘wasting’ time is more than a little uncharitable. Still, I feel I could be more productive elsewhere, doing something else, and I could never do that at home, either when you or he was up and about), my head is clear (and sometimes full with this or that weird dream these days, which would have pleased you if you were still here, so we could swap stories like we rarely did in life) and it’s quiet in the house (leaving me to fill that space with some kind of activity).

All of which, however, assumes I actually have something to tell you about – and with another week (and month, in fact!) beginning, you might expect there to be plenty. And maybe there is. But when it’s part of one’s daily existence, it seems humdrum and monotonous; quite literally, none of the stuff seems worth writing home about. Besides, even if there was something to talk about in terms of upcoming plans, that’s stuff that’s in the future; you delivered the hard lesson – albeit in an extreme way; I’ve gotten similar reinforcing lessons since that have been more inconvenient nuisances than tragic life-changers – that one’s future is never secure, so there’s really little point in discussing it. Planning may be all well and good, on a general level, but the specifics can never be counted upon.

And so, in the silence of the morning on this Monday, the first of the month, there are these little things that come to mind to tell you about. None of them rise to the level of complete topics, but maybe in a digest of assorted paragraphs, they might still interest you, assuming you are at all concerned (or even aware) of the ant-farm life that crawls around on this particular dirt clod that you once upon a time called home.


First, a few words about the silence that envelopes the house these days. I never really liked silence that much, personally; you’ll recall that I usually had music going on in my dorm room back in the day, and to this day, I have it going in the car whenever I’m driving. But since you and I had opposing circadian rhythms, I had to bear that in mind on those days when I would wake up and have to leave the house before you ever opened your eyes. And as a result, my mornings (at least, until I got into my car) were as quiet as I could make them. I won’t say I liked it, but I got used to it.

These days, I still have that dynamic to work with, as Daniel follows your pattern of staying up late and sleeping in, rather than mine of retiring early and rising with the sun. I’m sorry to have to say it, but he was that much more your boy, after all. So, I’m left keeping my distance, and keeping quiet until he decides to wake up. Not that that’s absolutely necessary, to be sure – the last few months have proven just how much activity and noise he can sleep through (or at least try and pretend to do so). Still, out of respect for whatever amount of sleep he might need – since I know I would appreciate it were I in his shoes (or rather, blankets) – I maintain that quiet distance as much as I can.

I rarely bother with music in the house anymore. These days, the stereo is connected to the family room television (that’s a little wiring marvel you put together years ago, and I’ve neither the heart nor the technical expertise to determine how to disconnect it), so we haven’t used it for anything other than what’s on the monitor, be it from the television directly or the computer that’s connected to it. Besides, that TV’s sound is absolute rubbish. I used to play the occasional song or two on the bedroom computer certain mornings, but that was generally with the specific purpose of waking you up in a gentler fashion than the ‘scree-scree-scree’ of either of our alarm clocks (and amazingly, you were never able to hear my alarm clock, anyway) on those days when we all needed to wake up earlier than we might organically be capable of.


The silences we existed in as the three of us sat around in the family room, each of us doing this or that on our own devices, were companionable ones. I would sometimes find myself concerned about how we were all in our separate spheres, not really interacting with each other, or even involved in something together – it’s why I preferred having the television (and later, YouTube) on; at least that way, we were sharing some of the same input. I’ll never understand how the two of you could watch and listen while continuing to work on your separate computers, but you insisted you were capable of it.

Then again, there were evenings when you would insist that you had been watching, even as I would have clearly just nudged you awake. Admittedly, you often had sufficient wits about you to murmur “I’m pancake,” a quote from a groggy Twilight Sparkle in a scene where she was similarly awakened by the My Little Pony cast. Like the rest of the cast, I was dubious, but offered you the benefit of doubt.


So in a way, the silence of the morning isn’t that far removed from those day when you were still here, only that I’m no longer required to be somewhere, doing something – apart from those self-imposed requirements… such as writing to you, even when the morning is young and there’s nothing much happening to report on.

Still, until I do have something, keep an eye on me, honey, and wish me luck – I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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