I've been in my apartment since March 18th. My building now seems abandoned from the outside, with the exception of the occasional maintenance dutifully carried out by the building supervisor. I haven't seen him or his family in person for days, but it's comforting to see his influence. Aside from a few neighbors, my floor is empty.
I can't do any more woodworking since going out for lumber is out of the question and I want to save my tools and the few remaining supplies for when I'll really need them. My roommate has gone to stay with his family for a while.
When I first moved into my apartment, I was delighted at how quiet it was at night, especially since a city is hardly a serene environment. Over the years, a few drips of motorcycles at midnight turned into a collapsing roof on my serenity which, thankfully, subsided the last few years. I think increased constraints on noise pollution helped. The pandemic has turned that serenity into an eerie silence at night.
For the last few days, I'm rediscovering the sounds of a living structure. I can hear little creaks which didn't phase into perception before. Rumbles of vent fans on the roof. And even birds. I used to run away into the woods in winter to find this kind of ambiance, but I never imagined I'd find it at home. I've used the label countless times, but this is the first time I thought of my apartment as truly my "home".
I thought by now, I would have gone completely mad by staying home, but I'm oddly comfortable being alone with my own thoughts than ever before.
I'm learning how silence works again.