Usually when I’m shelving at the library I listen to a podcast to kill the time. But yesterday I hadn’t brought my phone with me, so instead I walked through the perfectly silent basement without distraction. It felt peaceful—almost meditative. I didn’t understand why I had been so intent on listening to podcasts before, in filling my head with mostly empty chatter. I liked to hear the sounds the building made as I walked around filing books. 

I’d already determined earlier that evening that I was no longer interested in any of the websites that used to help me kill time—I wrote a single long poem, which probably made me more emotional than necessary sitting on the circulation desk, and wrote a sullen blog post, and could think of little else to do. I worked, here and there, on an essay I’m writing (it’s due today and I’m ignoring it now). Perhaps the fact that I’m almost done the project I’ve been working on for the last eight months has helped me realize the futility of procrastination. Perhaps it’s a reorientation of my priorities. I think it’s a little of both. 

When my shift was over I got on my bicycle and rode home, slowly, through streets long familiar to me. Last night there were no wrong turns. Some friends were out, at Handlebar, but that seemed to me too far. Without my phone, coordination was much more difficult. I might have stopped if they were on Bloor or on my way home. 

As I was getting ready for bed, I leaned down to plug my phone into the wall. Only the charger wasn’t where it usually is—in the past week I’d moved it across the room. For some reason this led to the thought, “Oh, I’ll miss her.” 

It was like being shot by all of that quiet from earlier. Suddenly I was on the bed, heaving, burying my face in my hands.

But there’s nothing to do about it now.

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