I live alone. I wasn’t forced into it. Like all of us, I had seen movies and how they romanticised living alone. The exaggerations check out. Yes, I have danced as I exited the bathroom without any clothes on because who won’t? Yes, I love being in control of my space and not having to share it. I like a lot of it but not the last few hours of every day. At least, not since the last couple of weeks. I love living alone; I hate the silence.
Every night, as the day starts to descend into its more silent parts, I look at my watch, and I see minutes pass slowly. I turn some music on because silence begins to take over the scene. Silence is a beautiful thing to fall in love with, but it is a cruel mistress. Once your courtship period ends, silence starts to feel a bit overwhelming. There’s a beautiful quote in the new Netflix series, The End of the F***ing World. James, one of the protagonists, says the following.
That was the day I learned that silence is really loud. Deafening. I think maybe my dad spent his whole life trying to avoid silence. When you have silence, it’s hard to keep stuff out. It’s all there and you can’t get rid of it.
Silence doesn’t bore you; living alone doesn’t bore you. I am good at entertaining myself. I’m not sure if everyone feels this way but, as a kid, I usually spent my days inside the house, so I’m used to doing things by myself. However, silence does make everything feel a bit much. So, the book you are reading will become slightly heavy on your hands after a while, or maybe, the game you’re playing won’t just be engrossing enough. It’s not for the lack of interest in it; it’s just because of how deafeningly dead everything else feels.
It gets colder in winters, obviously and silence makes it even colder. This probably is why I probably make tea or coffee for myself every hour or so starting from the evening. It’s not the caffeine or the warmth, I crave. In fact, it’s the kettle and the noise it makes. It somehow makes the place tolerable at about ten in the night.
By eleven, when I’m in bed and about to sleep. There’s no sound. It’s a vacuum, almost. Yes, there are squeaks and screams of people living above, across and below my room but that doesn’t amount to much. In fact, it raises the silence by making sure I realise that it’s there once the sound fades away. As I close my eyes to sleep, I get so frustrated with the lack of noise that, “Alexa”, I say, “play some music” and I go to sleep.
Maybe, this is a temporary thing. Maybe, I’m becoming used to having people around, finally.