Sunday, May 18, 2014

I Think I Am Afraid Of Silence

I've spent all day on the bathroom floor. I've watched some Netflix in here, recorded next week's episode of the podcast with Sam in here (via Skype. Sam wasn't in this bathroom with me), made a few phone calls in here, and it's been great. I'm using the toilet lid as a desk for my laptop (not the seat. I'm not that gross), there's a nice cushioned mat on the floor, but, best of all, there's a little noise-making heater on the wall. And I'm afraid of silence.

Left: My laptop setup, with a selection of my Japanese skincare products.
Right: Another angle with the wonderful heater, and bags filled with
even more skincare products.
I'm a quiet person in general, but I become even quieter in a quiet setting. (Damian's voice from Mean Girls: "Say 'quiet' again.") If noise is happening, I don't mind contributing my voice, but when there's nothing but silence, I tend to tiptoe around. I don't even like breathing in complete silence. Now, I'm no doctor, but I assume not breathing isn't good for you.

To combat my fear of silence, I usually keep a noise-making fan running almost 24/7, and I've done this for as long as I can remember. I'm talking about those low-energy (so don't kill me, eco-people) fans that don't really blow much air, but just emit a steady stream of white-ish noise (except it's more encompassing and full, if that makes sense). I have two of those fans back in Arkansas, but neither would fit in my suitcase. So I've got an app on my phone that's supposed to simulate the noise and I'm using it to help me fall asleep. However, while that helps me at night, it doesn't quite do the trick during the day. The noise coming out of the phone speaker sounds more sharp and tinny and empty, and seems to cut through the silence rather than fill it.

I also like to keep my TV on at home, turned down low for background noise. And every night I fall asleep watching Netflix with my TV on a timer set to shut off after an hour. I've pulled a chair over by my bed here and have been falling asleep to Netflix on my laptop, so that's worked out fine.

Everything is just so disconcerting in silence, and I'm having trouble describing my aversion to it. Maybe it's just when other people are around? Maybe I don't want other people to be able to hear me? I'm fine with silence when I'm home alone. Or maybe I'm fine with silence when I'm in a stand-alone house alone (as opposed to a connecting apartment). In an apartment, you're generally surrounded by people. I used to spend a lot of time in the bathroom when I had my own apartment in Philly, as well. It, too, had a nice heater that generated a very soothing hum that made me feel protected from the family living above me.

The floor in my room here is hardwood, and it creaks and groans. In my mind, walking across the room is like setting off little bombs with every step. However, this bathroom is tile, so it doesn't have that problem. And the little heater in here is about as close to the noise-making fan sound as I can probably get right now. I'd run it all night, but I don't want to waste electricity.

Probably in a month or so, when I have a more permanent place (hopefully without creaky floors), I'll go out and buy a little fan. Right now, though, it'd just be one more thing to lug around to wherever I end up. So I guess until then I'll be making this bathroom my home office.

Wow, this entry makes me sound crazy. I just re-read it.

In other news, I start work tomorrow. I'm much more excited than nervous, mostly because I can't wait to do something. Yesterday, I was gonna go see the house that was used for the exterior shots in That's So Raven and maybe go to the Golden Gate Bridge, but I didn't feel like getting on the buses. I should've gone to Japantown, though, because I learned they have a dollar store there that sells pretty much all those kawaii trinkets I buy on eBay, except it's already here! Maybe next weekend.

Still a little homesick, but it's being kept at bay by daily calls from my parents, sister, and BFF, and by chatting with my Internet BFFs. I have a great support system.

-joe