It’s strange and interesting and new to hear laughter in my apartment that’s not mine. And other noises I didn’t make.
That chair across the room is creaking, but I’m sitting over here on this couch. There’s typing on a keyboard, but my laptop is closed. There are footsteps in the hall, but I’m still in the bathtub. The water in the kitchen runs when I’m in the bedroom, and the sheets on the bed rustle when I’m in the kitchen.
Music comes on then goes off. There’s a voice talking on the phone, but I see my phone, sittng on that table over there. It’s silent. Paper’s rustle. Cupboards close. There’s a breathing and a sighing and a singing. And that laughing again.
And it’s not mine.
“Tell him yes,” she said. “Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.”
~ Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I was watching swimming in the Olympics tonight. I noticed that what happens before a race is that the swimmers come out, and then often sit on these chairs waiting for their names to be announced before the start of the race.
Tonight I noticed that as the swimmers were sitting in those chairs waiting for their turns to rise and make the way to what they hoped would be the first of two podiums that night, they were all shaking their feet and legs in nervousness and anticipation. I noticed this because it’s something I do – I have done it for years. I shake my legs and/or my feet constantly. Or I fidget in a hundred other ways. People have often commented on it, asking me why I was so scared or angry or did I have to go to the bathroom.
Today I had another thought about it, as I watched all those swimmers shaking their legs as if the vibration their feet were making on the tile were enough to vibe that gold medal right around their necks. The thought was this: maybe my lifelong twitch has not been a twitch born of anxiousness or fear or general anxiety, but a twitch of anticipation, of something big to come, something I have been waiting a long time for. Something good.
Which twitch? Number two. For sure.