Our bedtime routine is to settle in and listen to a couple podcasts. I’ll read my Twitter feed and Nancy will read a book or play a game on her iPad.
Last night, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (a favorite podcast) had Sarah Koenig, the creator of Serial a viral sensation podcast, on as a guest. She helped launch a new podcast series call S•Town.
So I downloaded a couple episodes – and I’m hooked! Although all the episodes are available for download immediately, I’ll spread out the listening…
Normally, I’ll fall asleep during the last 30 minutes or so of the 180 minutes of podcasts in the queue.
Last night was different because of the compelling nature of S•Town. Last night, the podcast ended, and I just laid there, thinking about the surprise ending of Chapter Two, listening to the night sounds.
EXCEPT THERE WERE NONE.
Soundless. No night sounds.
Since I have tinnitus, I never experience total quiet. I have a 24/7/365 ringing in my head.
But last night – aside from the tinnitus – I could not hear a sound.
- No gecko chirps
- No cicada whine
- No iguana scrabblling across the tin roof
- No Facebook alerts
- No night bird calls
- No congo monkey howls
- No music
- No text alerts
- No cars or trucks
- No news website alerts
- No distant thunder
- No frog croaks
This went on for at least 15 minutes. Total and complete silence. Eventually the sound was broken for a few seconds by the five staccato chirps from a single gecko in the house. Then total quiet again for a few minutes. A car went by on the road below. Then total silence again.
Then Nancy rolled over and grabbed her phone and launched the WGN radio app and tuned in the WGN Radio Theater. Last night the episode was “Box Thirteen: The Haunted Artist with Alan Ladd” a program from 1948.
I laid there and recalled listening to the radio when I was a kid (born in 1947.) I also remembered the road noises that came in through the open window in the summer. We lived on US 12 at the edge of a very small town – right where the speed limit changed from 40 mph through town to 55 mph (night-time speed limit on highways.) I would hear the trucks down-shifting as they slowed to 40 mph going eastbound and up-shifting as they increased speed going westbound. I could hear the trucks shifting 4 or 5 or even 6 times going westbound.
Don’t hear that anymore – and don’t miss it.
Now I tune in the phone to play a podcast or radio station and drift off to sleep.
Anything to drown out the tinnitus.