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I woke up in the dead of night, and for once it was completely silent. No changes in air pressure from the furnace causing the ductwork to flex, no rattle of my upstairs neighbor’s furnace, no truck rumbles from 490 or creaks from floorboards or coughs from someone smoking next door, not even the white noise which I subconsciously tune-out while at work; sounds currently most noticeable as I write about last night’s silence. So why did I wake up?

I don’t think I woke up because of the silence. And in any case it wasn’t as completely silent as I led myself to believe. Initially, I thought that I was wheezing; something that only happens when I’m sleeping in a place that has cats. I took a deep breath to test this out, but I was breathing easy. Then I realized that the sound I was hearing was my heartbeat. Not just the “What does a heartbeat sound like, Timmy?” sound that Timmy would make if someone asked Timmy what a heartbeat sounded like, but something almost preternaturally keen. I could hear and feel my blood being pushed into my ventricles and flowing into and outof my veins and arteries. A heartbeat sounds nothing like what Timmy thinks it sounds like. You don’t hear pauses between the beats, it is almost like listening to the tides of the sea.

So now I’ve tried an attempt at concrete poetry and another thing.

One thought on “Heartbeat

  1. That is a very dramatic experience…and well described.

    I once had to have an ultrasound on my carotid arteries. There was an accompanying sound effect that the tech turned up while showing me the video of the blood moving.

    It was humbling to hear my body working like that. It also was a moment that I really understood how little is between me (that moving blood) and nothing.

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