Night Sounds


A few days ago we fell asleep to the sound of the city. We live downtown, so honking cars, music, sirens, and intoxicated yelling carries on throughout the evening. While many would not consider this ideal white noise, there's something soothing about listening to the bustle of a city outside your window.

A few weeks ago we fell asleep to the sound of trains. We lived near an old railyard. Hearing the faint call of train whistles in the distance was something I looked forward to every night. To know that out there in the darkness, a lone conductor was chugging away, thinking about things that only solitude can make you think about.

A few months ago we fell asleep to the sound of the Amazon. Falling water pounded the wooden ceiling above us, like tiny pearls dancing on the roof. But the dancing grew lighter and lighter, and before long the clouds carried it away. A nocturnal orchestra started to swell: Insects, amphibians, mammals, birds. We slept as the chorus wound through kapok trees, wild ferns, and a serpentine river.

A few years ago we fell asleep to the sound of the ocean. Back then we were just boyfriend and girlfriend. We stayed up late at the beach talking, laughing, and eventually dozed off in each other's arms. A little later, we woke up in a panic. It was two in the morning! In our hurry to gather our things, we lost our car keys in the sand. So we had to walk home. As we turned onto his family's street, we noticed his father's car missing from the garage. Lights were on inside. It was 4AM when we walked through the door and heard “YOU TWO! WHERE ON EARTH WERE YOU I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE OKAY LET ME MAKE YOU SOME HOT CHOCOLATE.”


In a few hours we’ll fall asleep again. And the one sound I'll hear tonight isn't sirens or trains or raindrops or Pacific waves. I’ll hear what I've heard every night for the last four years--what I'll hear every night for the rest of my life: “I love you. You're beautiful. See you in the morning, honeybee.”


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