This is something new, and it struck me suddenly. Forgive me.
Just five minutes ago, as I was closing up my apartment for the night—locking the "office" up, closing the "shop"—I decided to take a brief walk out onto my balcony. It's not a luxurious patch, but a homey one that we've strung lights along and placed mismatched beach chairs upon. It's one of my favorite features of my apartment: this quaint, second-story-view of a sleepy street in Astoria.
Anyway, I walked out here and was assaulted by the silence... It's something I've remarked upon before, intensified, no doubt, by the lull of travel and work during the shutdown.
My footsteps almost echo against the neighboring apartments as I walk to the railing.
One lone person walks past down 30th Ave.
A crossing signal begins warning an empty sidewalk not to walk.
A cat runs down the alleyway of a school to my right.
Across the street, someone awakens and enters their kitchen—turning on the light, thrusting a scarf (or something) around their shoulder, and inspecting the fridge.
Am I in my own Hitchcock universe, set in some hard-to-imagine future where New York is quiet at night?
I look back and forth and back and forth down my street, still thinking any moment someone will race up on a loud motor——another street cat, a different one this time, black, skirts under a parked car on my side of the street——loud motorcycle, breaking the illusion. And maybe, moments after I return to shelter, lock the door, and forget, someone will.
Does a noise make a sound in New York City if there's no one around to hear it?