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The Sound of Quiet

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What exactly is the sound of silence? Some say that it’s deafening, like the world is rumbling around them. I have experienced this type silence on trips to the outdoors, but I don’t think it is actually silence that is producing the all encompassing drone, but that millions of tiny noises, from the rustling of leaves to the scratching of small insects, joined together in a symphony of sound that could not previously be heard over the songs of the birds or the rushing of wind.

The only place in which I have found true silence has been through purely artificial means. As for myself, I have found that my room is sufficiently quiet at about one o'clock at night, when I am the only one left awake and cars no longer pass by my window. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, try and find a room that is as sealed off from the world as possible, because in order to hear the sound of silence, there must be absolutely no noise in your room whatsoever.

If you finally find a quiet place and want to hear the sound of silence, take a deep breath, pop your ears, hold your breath, and listen as hard as you can. At first, it will be like trying to hear a pin drop from a mile away, but be patient because after a while of listening to absolutely nothing, you should hear faint beeping or ringing sound. It will be hard to pick up at first, but when you hear it, focus on the noise and it will become clearer and louder. To me, it sounds like the mechanical dinging sound most microwaves make after they’re done cooking. If you can hear the noise, then congratulations, you have just become infected.

Like me, you will probably just brush off the noise as soon as you hear it to be just a trick of the mind. You will likely become irritated with the sound and drown it out with music, a YouTube video, or the sound of your own breathing. It will go away for a while. You may even begin to doubt the existence of the sound you thought you heard, but eventually you will have to go to sleep. If you’re like me, everything has to be quiet in order to sleep, but just as soon as you turn off all sources of sound, you’ll hear it again. It will be faint and easy to ignore at first, but curiosity will drive you to pop your ears and listen again. No matter how hard I try to resist, I always succumb to my instinct to focus on that noise.

Eventually you’ll get tired enough to sleep. Days may go by before you hear it again, but make no mistake, the noise will not have gotten any dimmer. Eventually you will remember the night you heard the sound of silence and you’ll listen again, but every time you listen, the noise will grow louder. If you’re as weak to temptation as I am, you’ll keep listening to the sound and it will slowly grow in volume. Night after night, you listen to the sound right before you go to sleep. As intrusive as it is, you can't help but listen more closely when you hear it. It may frighten you when house noises and breathing to not subdue the noise anymore, but with enough time, not even music will be able to drown out the ringing. After days of this, you will begin to hear it outside of your quiet place. You’ll hear it in-between car honks and commercial breaks. By this time, nights will become absolute hell as you are forced to have your ears filled with constant beeping. Prepare to spend many sleepless nights searching for anything loud enough to counteract the noise.

After many weeks or perhaps even months following your initial experiment, the noise that you could just faintly make out will have overpowered your senses. No sound, no matter how loud, will interrupt the buzzing sound you will now hear. Many people think that I have gone deaf, but that could not be farther from the truth. I can hear the sound of silence and I can't stop.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “why would anyone want to go through something like that? This guy must be a real jerk to provide people with a new means with which to torture themselves.” That is not my goal, for I do not believe that I have truly lost my hearing. I may not be able to hear everyday noises, but every once in a while, through the clutter of sounds that fill my ears, I can make out voices. One time, while I was distracted by work stress, I walked out into a crosswalk and had forgotten to check if there was any traffic coming. I usually just expect any cars to stop when I start walking across, but one car did not seem to know this as it came speeding towards me. It would have killed me had it not been for a voice which compelled me to stop just in time.

I do not believe I have lost my hearing, but that my ears have tapped into a deeper realm of listening. The voices have told me what to do and, after having seen their wisdom and foresight, I obey them without question. Their decisions, no matter how strange or sinister they would appear at first, would somehow always lead to more beneficial outcomes in the end.

As for me, I am currently in prison, but don't worry, the voices have already told me about a way to get me out. Before I do so however, they wanted me to write down instructions on how to contact them and pass it along to people such as yourselves so that you can hear them as well. They have so many plans for this world, but they need more people to listen to them. So please, if you ever find yourself in a quiet place, listen hard to the emptiness and, if you’re lucky, you might just hear a tiny beeping noise coming from nowhere at all.

Written by WanderingRiverdog
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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