They say that the big bang was not an actual "bang". It was really just static. Static, like the interference of radio waves. Of course, the universe did not happen instantaneously. The big bang took 760,000 years to happen. 760,000 years of static, and bang, the universe happened.
I get myself together and actually go out. I go to see the New York Philharmonic perform the works of John Cage at Lincoln Center. I walk out during the second movement of 4'33". There's a very small difference between life and death. I walk home, my chin pulled down against my neck. I hum a constant note, providing myself with my own tinnitus.
I focus on this note. I cross Broadway where the walkers cluster on the curbside, awaiting the turn of the traffic light. People talking and the bioacoustic noises of their bodies moving. I walk against the signal. The tires of taxis scrape against the road. I go west on 65th Street, past Brooks Brothers and the slimy sliding of the revolving door, past vans parallel parked, past figurine trees planted in desolate squares of grey dirt, collecting wind. Bikes cling to the bike rack and the garbage bag whips in its pail. I walk past Le Pain Quotidien, the organic bakery that only has one table, one long table where everyone is supposed to eat together. A woman's high heeled shoes tap against the sidewalk. I walk past apartments with barred windows. I walk until I see a wall of green. This is Central Park West. I walk along the 65th Street Transverse Road. Two walls of green botanic wildlife rise up towards the sky, forming a pleasant container for the road and the sidewalk, a pleasant protection. Enclosed in shrubbery I would imagine the noises get quieter. Incorrect. They augment. They build even louder. They arise from the start and stop of the pacific traffic. The pressured whistle of brakes being applied. The staccato rhythm of footsteps. Behind me. Before me. A jogger's workout music through her headphones. A dog's whining. A car's window being closed. A bird's wings flapping in a tree, making noise. Music. Disorganized, timeless, sublunary music. I get to my apartment on the East Side. The polished floor of the lobby echoes every noise against the ceiling. The elevator beeps. I walk in. It whirs. Here I notice I am still humming.
Finally I am in my room and my room is carved out of silence. I sleep in an anechoic chamber, a room designed to absorb all sounds detectable by the human ear. Here, I can hear two sounds, one high and one low. The high one is my nervous system in operation. The low one is my blood in circulation. I can also hear a rhythmic scraping noise, one that sounds like the second hand of a clock, ticking, ticking, counting down to an inevitable end. The engineer tells me it is my heart chambers opening and closing. I can't help but believe it is something more sinister.
I lay awake most of the night. Finally, I hear my body silence as my mind drifts into sleep. I am on the brink of consciousness. Then, I hear a sudden sound. It is static. From the static forms a void. I fall asleep.