I am at my mother's, fifteen minutes or so east of Birmingham. The house is asleep. The world outside is almost maliciously silent. The sort of silence that seems profound and malign, a silence so weighty that I imagine it to be possessed of sound. I can hear the heater running, and a few miles to the north, cars on I-20, and my fingers on this keyboard, but nothing else.
The good news, my mother finally got a shiny new iMac. So, visits here (infrequent though they are), do not necessitate my having to try to fathom the counterintuitive mysteries of a Windows box.
I did not grow up in this house. It is huge and yellow and backed by pine trees. As a child, we tended to live in small rented houses and apartment complexes. Most of the houses I lived in here in this town are still standing. As far as I know, they all are. This house is very different from them. And I've never lived here. Yet strewn throughout, peppered here and there, are little bits of my childhood, as though my adolescence has somehow leaked into this huge yellow house. For example, in the guest room, where Spooky is presently asleep, is a small wooden box with sea shells inside that my mother and I collected off Neptune Beach in the early '70s when we lived in Jacksonville, Florida. Weird little echoes of me.
Before leaving Atlanta, we had to drop Hubero off at Pets-Are-People-Too in Ansley Park, for boarding, because he cannot be trusted to spend a night alone. I'm wearing his collar around my left wrist, like a bracelet, as I always do when we have to board him.
I should try to sleep. But the silence all around me is like an amplifier for thoughts I do not wish to think. So, likely I'll putter about the place a while longer. Car lagged. Waiting for sleep to find me.