House sounds

When it is well past midnight and I am creeping on the pads of my feet, from the kitchen to the bedroom, the floorboards wince. My wife is a restless sleeper. I imagine she will hear the stubble on my cheeks bending and crashing like bamboo in a strong wind. Sliding off my socks, I am aware that the sound of the fabric skidding over skin is no quieter, in this still room, than a bandsaw gnawing through fresh pine. The goldfish pond (or raccoon feeder) outside our bedroom window gurgles and the oscillating fan in the corner whirs. The ambience does not mask the flap of denim against carpet, nor do they muffle the blind man’s careful stride to the bedside. The sound of toothpaste swathed over bad breathe cannot be heard–it was left behind in the bathroom, but it still feels loud. The creak of the bed is the final sigh at the end of the day when the shadows on the ceiling  frame us both within the portrait of  dreams in progress and those yet to come.

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