Like a magpie, I am a scavenger of shiny things: fairy tales, dead languages, weird folk beliefs, fascinating religions, and more. (Author’s note)
…she was the one artists would want to draw…She was the one who would someday know a dozen ways to wear a silk scarf, how to read the sky for rain and coax feral animals near, how to purr throaty love songs in Portuguese and Basque, how to lay a vampire to rest, how to light a cigar, how to light a man’s imagination on fire. (p. 24)
It wasn’t a Gothic cemetery; there were no mossy angels weeping miraculous tears of blood, no crypts or curses or crumble. No poets or courtesans were buried here; no vampires slumbered belowground. … Even the dead loitering here spoke of dull things, like the one who worried she’d left the stove burning when she died. (p. 45)
(Goblin Fruit pp. 1 – 55)
Lips Touch: Three Times
by Laini Taylor
Toronto: Scholastic, 2009
It is Sunday. The city is quiet; city quiet. I’m just two blocks from two major roads so I can still hear the occasional traffic. The apartment building I live in is also quiet. Every once in a while I can hear someone come in the main door. Because I live mere feet from a semi-major roadway and almost right on the sidewalk, in a ground floor apartment, I never get away from noise completely. The bus stops outside my kitchen window and people walk by on the sidewalk any time, day or night, all through the seasons though there is less night traffic now that it is winter.
Last Sunday I had company and slept on the couch instead of in the bedroom. I was more aware of the normal overnight city noises because I normally keep a fan going in my bedroom overnight to act as white noise so that I don’t hear the city talk. It was a restless night. I got woken up quite regularly and gave up on getting a deep sleep after the beep beep of the grader backing up at four am woke me from a delicious dream.
I went back to the country for the recent holidays. My mother lives in a small town that houses less than a thousand persons. I swear most everyone was elsewhere. The quiet was almost apocalyptic. I would not have been surprised to see the frozen dead arising from the graveyards; silently, quietly arising.
I walked around on Boxing day. It was beyond quiet. I could concentrate on hearing each individual breath that I took. I felt invisible, a mere shadow in an alternative universe. I saw no one. I saw no evidence of recent activity. It was day, so my all too over active imagination kept itself reined in. I did not wonder if I had entered the Twilight Zone; I did not hope to have time enough at last.
City quiet. Country quiet. I’ve experienced both. I’ve experienced more. I can differentiate between city quiet, suburban quiet, rural quit and country quiet; between big Q quiet and little q quiet. I call this post Country Quiet but it properly should be called Rural Quiet or Small Town Quiet.
Quiet. Listen. There are nuances in the quiet. A true country quiet occurs when one is all alone in the middle of no where. My eldest sister yearns for a house in the country, serviced by secondary rural roads, the closest neighbour miles away. This country quiet gives me shivers; makes me have flashbacks to reading The Shining. This type of country quiet is too quiet. I prefer a city quiet.
Going back made me rehear the quiet; the quiet that is and is not silent, that is not really quiet. I hear my breath, my footfalls, the rustling of the snow, the birds, the breeze in the trees, the dogs barking across town and the quiet rustle of highway traffic. Is it Quiet or is it quiet?