Finding Silence in Room 1806

By: Izzie Ramos-Foley

1:42 AM: I tucked myself in and allowed my brain to bathe in the darkness of the hotel room.
In this unfamiliar place, the doors creaked and the bed whined. I couldn’t possibly feel at ease in such a hostile room. Each time I closed my eyes, I was somewhere distant, somewhere quiet. Graciously, my most peaceful nights came with the pleasure of silence, but this night was different. Tonight was foreign.

2:38 AM: I decided to calm my head by feeding it the gentle sounds of artificial waterfalls and ocean sounds. My earphones awkwardly sat inside my ear. I twisted the wires between my fingers as I tried to fall asleep, but something was missing. The car horns and sirens blared through the window, distracting me from my mission of finding sleep. My eyes burned from exhaustion, but the barking of distant dogs and the roars of the many cars rolling through 42nd Street rudely distracted me.

3:46 AM: My body ached for a silent night. I tried to create my own peace by adding more noise, but in that room, nothing was ever still. The brewing thunderstorm boomed and the city made its point. It won’t stop for me. My silence was nonexistent.

5:24 AM: I laid flat on my back and stared into the dark. Closing my eyes at this point in the night was useless, because clearly my head couldn’t handle the unfamiliar atmosphere, nor comprehend the sounds. I heard everything, yet saw nothing. I felt blind, but lacked the fear of vulnerability. At times, I couldn’t tell if my eyes were open or closed, though every part of me was cold and numb. I reached for my phone, but it was too dark. I grasped at nothing. My arm went limp as I was suffocated by the shadows. The white noise was still pounding in my ears after all of these hours and it was much too overwhelming for me to handle at five in the morning. I yanked my ear buds out and listened to the surprisingly blissful hotel room.

8:35 AM: My alarm clock screamed at me, demanding me to wake up. After three hours of restless sleep, I opened my eyes to the dimly lit room around me. The shadows from the peeling wallpaper played tricks with the morning sunlight and made giant black silhouettes on the ceiling, like rocks in a cave. The urban aura turned rustic. My phone had fallen off my bed and, from how restless I was the night before, I wasn’t shocked to see the sheets on the floor as well. I floated to the window, feeling lightheaded from my lack of sleep, and put my ear against the glass and listened. I noticed that there were no car sirens, no barking dogs, and no thunderstorms.
Just silence.

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