What Empty Nest Syndrome?

General Electric's "foot candle" adv...

General Electric’s “foot candle” advertising novelty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The quiet is palpable. Especially of a morning as the sun peeks in through half-opened blinds above my head, one footcandle at a time. They are rarely fully closed, those blinds, no one else peeks in. I sense the light before I see it.

My eyes remain closed as slumber releases my senses, one by one. The fabric of the pillow case rests smooth and silky beneath my cheek. I snuggle further into the pillow relishing the give, as well as the comfort of being held within that cottony bowl.

A coolness grazes my naked arm; the sheet has been kicked aside during the night. The whir of the air conditioner buzzes in my ears. I shiver and pull at the sheet; it’s all I need between me and the blast of air flowing towards me. The warm sheet and the cold white noise envelop me.

When the AC stops, I listen. Some days I can hear the birds chirping, bringing in the new day. But most days not; the thick impact-resistant window panes muffle my outside world. I doze in the silence. A silence so powerful I can smell it. A silence that is both foreign and familiar. For I dreamed of it often, this silence.

The sun inevitably forces its way inside; full daylight teases my eyelids, nudging them to open. And when they do, I see the silence first. It is bright and shiny, reflecting off the mirror. It is dark and somber, ingrained within the furniture.

The door is open; the hallway empty. The silence calls to me, Come, there’s no one here. I feel inherently drawn to it, but I know there are someones there, not here, but there. I grab the gadget that connects me to them and check for messages, none. Good. All is well. The silence glows.

I rise to meet its radiance. It accompanies me during my morning routine, a muted sentinel guarding my every move. It then follows me into the hallway stillness; nothing else is moving, not even sound. My bare feet glide over the cool slick tiles as I pass by other open doors.  Doors that lead into silent static voids lying in wait.

I hurry on into the glorious brightness that bathes my kitchen, sunlight streaming in unabated through the clear French doors. The sunshine visits me often, but this silence is now my constant companion. Today, as well as yesterday. And I suppose, into tomorrow.  I stop transfixed and take a deep breath, inhaling it; its aroma is intoxicating.

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