I turn off the television and the house lights
In search of quiet so I can fall asleep.
Except it isn’t really quiet.
For in the distance, there is a freeway.
It’s not far away, but it is far enough away not to trip me out and have me staying up all night from all the noise.
Yes, I can hear the cars as they speed to their destinations.
Suddenly into this quiet symphony blows a hard wind, rushing with urgency through the tall trees that dot the yard. And on this very night, there's an extra special cameo:
It’s the rain, a soft and persistent patter upon my spanish tile roof. It's working with the wind to batter the trees, causing them to drop their acorns from their delicate branches.
And tonight, there is you
Laying here beside me.
Your breath is slow, deep, and even.
I hear you exhale
And exhale again.
And the sound of your breath, it is quiet.
But at the same time
Just as loud as the car, train, wind and the rain.
My head rests upon your chest
Your chest hairs are sparse and downy
They tickle that space that has no name
That space between my cheek and nose.
We made love during this quiet symphony
Our moans and groans special guests stars
At this performance given just for us and by us.
As we lay, you break the silence with one simple question
And it’s the same question you always ask:
“You still think about him, don’t you?”
At a time like this, it would be best to lie.
But I can’t lie.
I can’t lie.
Not when I'm vunarable like this.
Not when I’m coming down from my sexual high.
And I can’t lie to you, my husband
My husband who has loved me faithfully for so many years.
Love is the conductor tonight, and it won’t let me tell a lie.
“Yes,” I say. "Yes Lord Yes."
The word is quiet as it slips from my mouth, barely a shushed whisper.
It is barely audible amongst the quiet symphony of cars, trains, wind, breath and rain.
I still think about him, the love of my life. But my parents didn’t approve of him, saying that I would make you, my husband, a better wife.
They were right.
I was a better wife.
I had a better life.
But what of the rushing wind?
What of the falling rain?
What of the hurried cars?
What of these cargo carrying trains?
And what of my heart?
I can’t think of that, my heart
My fast beating heart, right now.
My thoughts are brash and loud, off-key and in need.
There's no need for other words to be spoken.
For now I will concentrate and focus on the quiet symphony
This quiet symphony...
Which plays so softly for you and me.
Hmm. Usually I holler "That ain't me!" after a story.
But that story is highly biographical.
When I wake up in the mornings, I hear all kinds of sounds. And they aren't loud enough to jar me, but I still hear them. I live about a mile from the freeway, and I live about the same distance from some train tracks. I hear the rain, and the wind blowing through my trees. Those are always still quiet moments, where there's no television, no nothing. Just the sounds of nature and life moving fast for others.
I was reading something in my favorite author's rough draft of her next novel, and a portion indirectly reminded me of that one line in the story:
"You still think about him, don't you?"
I was asked that one evening after some lovemaking by the ex-hubby. I said yes. He didn't say anything, but I remember him having a attitude later. It had to be connected with that.
The boyfriend I had before him was the best boyfriend EVER. But I let him go because he wasn't that smart. I should've been mature enough to appreciate his best attribute: He was good.
I was young. And I didn't know any better.
Tayari was like... "Wow."
"I'm gonna use that as a writing prompt," I told her.
And I did.
And a good writing prompt it was.