I always thought I enjoyed silence. I recently moved into a new place where I now live alone. The silence in that location is incredible, I think it’s one of the reasons I love living there. But sometimes the silence feels a little too unbearable and empty, and I fear that familiar emptiness might exist in places within me too.
So, I finally made an adult decision (I haven’t been making a lot of those lately); I adopted a dog.
His name is Klaus. He and I have similarities, but we also have a lot of differences. For instance, he is really picky about what he eats and I like to experiment with foods (I’d pretty much eat dirt if it had enough hot sauce on it). He enjoys full hours of uninterrupted sleep, while I can’t seem to shut up long enough to get the bare minimum. And he likes to stay inside with himself and relax, enjoying simple things like air-conditioning or pushing a tennis ball across the room. But I can’t always relax in my own skin like he does. I find things to do outside of my silent apartment so that I won’t have to listen to myself lecture on all the things I could’ve done right today.
Maybe I just crave silence around me because I can’t seem to get silence on the inside.
So, I come in conflict with this desire to be comfortable in my aloneness (not loneliness, aloneness) and be able to turn down the volume of my own trash-talking thoughts. Even though there might be something missing in some space in myself, there is enough noise there to fill an auditorium. Unlike Klaus, I can’t turn off my mind (but in my defense, at least I can turn it on). I’ve tried yoga, and I like it, but it does nothing for the conversations in my head. I could do a thousand downward-facing-dogs. But I would still just come out with the rushing of blood to my head that sounds like arguments with myself.
I met Klaus a few weeks ago at the local rescue shelter. A sexy fireman at the shelter told me his story. I felt bad that in his couple of years of life he had to deal with so much neglect (and a ridiculous name: Oreo). I assumed that his indifference to visitors and other animals came from his fear of the patterns he had been literally running away from. I adopted him because I wanted to save him. But it turns out, he didn’t need a savior. He was completely content with the cycle of events that had brought him to the moment I came around. He needed a home but he didn’t need relief.
Thankfully, he gave my empty apartment some relief from the emptiness. He’s very quiet and very tame, but it is nice to have him wandering from room to room looking for something to chew on, a comfortable spot to lay, or ghosts (or whatever it is dogs seek). He’s fine on his own for the most part, and if he needs something from me, he rolls over and kicks me in the back.
I should follow after him.