Memorial Day 2020

A little over 10 months since I sat at this dining room table in similar silence.

It’s (still) so quiet here in Port Townsend. Deadly silent is what comes to mind but it is very much not a threatening environment.

Until the fridge’s hum started a few minutes ago, literally the only thing I could hear was the soft rush of rain on the trees outside the dining room window. But it doesn’t match the visual of the pouring rain on the neighbor’s roof.

The only other sounds are from the birds, which I can hear through the open skylight in the bathroom about 15 feet away from me. So. Many. Birds. They’re sheltering from the rain that is pouring harder now than 10 minutes ago, but they are still talking to each other. I haven’t figured out which birds they are by their sounds. But no mourning doves, as we’ve heard regularly the past few weeks, and are starting to be annoyed with at first light every morning.

Or the chirping of the now-teenage European starlings that live inside the telephone pole in front of the house. We’ve been hearing, then seeing, the little bird family grow the past month, and observing Mom and Dad constantly bringing back food to the needy youngsters. We now think the young ones, who we saw learning to fly two weeks ago, are equivalent to 30-year old adults with no jobs and living in their parent’s basement.

Not even a car driving through the neighborhood.

At 12:21 p.m. today, I noted how it feels like this will be the brightest light that will come of the day. Like a gray blanket has covered the Northwest and won’t lift. Not unlike October through March in the Northwest. But everything is green and in full bloom right now.

I was reading my backlog of New Yorkers as I was eating lunch, feeling a touch of déjà vu from last summer. Sitting in this same dining room, eating and writing and editing, next to a pile of New Yorkers. Except instead of articles about musicians and people doing interesting things that I had no idea I was interested in until I read about them, the content explores every aspect of how the coronavirus is impacting daily lives across the world.

Sometimes I’m interested in that content. Depends on the day. Sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes, my usual curiosity of how people live is engaged.

I ate my little salad of greens, with turkey and blueberries and avocado, topped with blood orange olive oil and champagne wine vinegar. Once those flavors dissipated 10 minutes after I was done, the smell of the second half of Jeremy’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich sitting 18 inches away started infiltrating my nose. Mainly it’s the bread I can smell, the sweetness of Dave’s Killer Bread, Powerseed loaf.

The view in front of me is hardly silent though. My peripheral and central views include four bikes, five chairs, a pile of my work things, a yoga mat, three bike helmets, a bike trainer, a folded up table that will soon be my new desk, and a huge pile of car camping and backcountry camping gear (his and mine tossed together in one big mess), all these things to be reorganized or placed someplace else.

Oh good, the fridge hum has stopped. Now I just hear some repetitive whooshing sounds, like ocean waves, but now fading away, like the fridge is going to sleep.