...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

6,000 Words or Less

My bedroom vibrates.

For a while I thought I was imagining things, but I've come to terms with the fact that my bedroom does in fact jitter and wobble and shake--and in turn, my bed jitters wobbles and shakes which in turn causes me to jitter wobble and shake.

*Cue some sort of joke about "If the room is a-rocking, don't come a knockin'"*

I live about a five minute walk from both the freeway and a set of railroad tracks. These are the major sources of my nightly wobblement.

I don't mind though. When a train rolls through and my room starts to tilt and gently sway, it lulls me to sleep. It's like resting your cheek against someone's chest, the train's pulse beating out a quiet gentle rhythm on my skin.

The sound of the traffic from the freeway is lulling as well. I sometimes sit in my bed at 12:30 am or later and marvel at the sounds of what seem to be millions of cars pouring by on the highway. It quiets me down and puts me in my place as a mere grain of sand. All these people driving by, creating art for me, composing the cacophonic backdrop just so, weaving ever so skillfully hundreds upon hundreds of sounds until they dance together and apart and cancel each other out into a quiet hush like a wave of cool night air crashing against my window screen. All this careful creation of noise by hundreds of people, all just so I can fall asleep at night.

I am honored.

Last night a comedian I saw stated that women speak about 6,000 words each day and men speak about 2,000 (or so she read somewhere). I thought about this, my feet wrapped tightly beneath bedsheets last night.

6,000 words.

That seems so starkly minute in number.

2,000 words even moreso.

It kind of made me sad as I lay listening to the traffic roll by in waves like thunder. All these people passing mere feet from each other and yet existing miles and universes away.

Every man is an island, and yet we're constantly stretching our isthmuses to desperately reach out to the next. And the one way that we bridge that gap is through the give and take of conversation, the rope thrown from us to someone else, begging to be caught. And yet all I manage to spare as I stumble through my days is 6,000 words, tossed out carelessly at those around me. Silence hanging so heavy sometimes between myself and another that I think my words so loud inside my head, sound them out so solidly and clearly in my brain, that I am not sure if I have actually spoken them or not and am forced to ask.

All these stupid ways of connecting that slip by us every day--the train rolling from A to B, the cars criss-crossing mere feet from each other with occupants that don't even spare a nod or a wave, me sitting in my bed, curled and buoyed on late-night traffic, thinking so hard that I worry I've actually spoken these thoughts out loud and wasted 100 or more of my daily and precious alottment, and so give myself over to sleep.



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