Seated between the quietly humming computer and the cold-air return vent for the furnace, I begin to hear voices. It’s not the stirring of a crowd united in passion for some cause or spectacle, nor the whispers of a moss colony buried by snow, but a simple and pleasing cacophony — the kind that grows from any gathering in which many conversations blend and merge. Picture yourself in some cave-like station or terminal where every other person is speaking animatedly into a cell phone. They might as well each be talking to God, except that, from time to time, they pause to listen. That’s what this pause is like. I’m tired and I’ve run out of things to say, so I give listening a try. The furnace stops, and a moment later the refrigerator shudders into silence. I power down the computer; the voices merely rise in pitch, till they are thin as the hairs on a fly. Call it sensory deprivation if you want. It’s past midnight, the full moon is hidden by clouds and I’m sitting in the dark, accompanied by the white noise of angels in which I do not believe.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).