That Need to be Quiet, Very Quiet

Today I feel this need and strongly so.

Yesterday, for the first time in over eight years I went, by train, into London. I used to live there over a decade ago.

The first thing I noticed is that people don’t like you to look at them, as I am accustomed to do. Quickly I began to lower my eyes and shorten the length of my gaze. The floor is after all a very interesting place.

The second thing I noticed is that the average pupil dilation is greater, suggesting a higher level of general anxiety. The anxiety was palpable and because I can pick up such things, tiring.

My tube head and familiarity with the underground was easy to retrieve from the memory server and I adopted that way with ease.

The woman in the coffee shop was not keen on me taking a china cup outside to sit, offering me a paper cup instead. She relented when I promised to bring the cup back in.

I sat for most of the day in a basement with ~200 others. And the noisier it became the quieter I needed to be. I have noted this tendency before, external noise makes me ever more silent.

And on the journey home there were two young “lads” fresh from a football match talking louder than they needed to and watching the latest Premier League data, playing football top trumps. They shared images and stats on their ‘phones.

And by the time I got home, I felt shell-shocked.

Le bruit.

I have some answers about what I can now do. There weren’t any questions when I started out, but I have some answers in any case.