Some people live in a world that the rest of us can't even begin to recognize.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 20: What's that sound?

So much has been taken away from me over the last few weeks (job, family, friends, TV, my cell phone, and much more). It seems like every hour I become aware of one more thing I miss terribly.

It is easy to notice the absence of tangible objects. I don't have a lot of 'stuff' anymore. The loss of various intangibles is either quite obvious or not as apparent. Privacy is intangible, and its absence was overwhelmingly apparent from day one. Horribly apparent. Today I became aware that I have been missing one of life's most essential intangible components, but it has taken me almost a month to realize it's been gone.

Noise on cell wing C is a constant. The walls are made of concrete, but the doors have metal mesh grates in them so we residents can hear announcements that the officers make. Well, I guess the purpose of the grate is to hear announcements, but most of the time we hear the officers yelling and swearing and threatening to take away another privilege. Also, due to the air vents we can hear voices from the adjacent rooms fairly clearly.

Tonight, I heard sounds from the room next door. The two women were talking. And something else. It actually took me awhile to realize that the other sound I was hearing from next door was the sound of laughter. Not just a few giggles, but enthusiastic, unrestrained laughter. The sound of joy. The sound of happiness.

The realization that, in this horrible place, joy, humor and even fun are all possible brought a huge smile to my face. I had not heard laughter in weeks, and hadn't even noticed it missing. And that is so odd since laughing is one of my favorite things to do.

There isn't a lot to do in prison, but I've just put LAUGH at the top of my daily to-do list.

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