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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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