When you think of music, what do you think of? You think of an orchestra or a big brass band. You think of rock and roll and concerts and that sort of thing. You probably don’t consider the whirring of machinery to be music. But I do. It’s one of the first things I hear when I wake up in the morning.
Hearing the whirring reminds me I’m living.
Tim comes home for lunch around 11:30 am. I get out of bed and putter to the kitchen to greet him. My oxygen tube clatters behind me as I walk, “Hi honey!” I say as I sit down at the table.
“Hello,” he says, giving me a peck on the cheek.
“Did you have a good morning?” I ask. I fix myself a Dr. Pepper and we sit down at the table together. I usually will have something small for lunch. Ever since my gallbladder surgery, I’ve had to be more careful with first meal.
“It was pretty good,” he says. “Had a few inspections, nothing special.”
“What’s for dinner tonight?” I ask.
“Good question,” he says. “I’ve got some meat I need to use up. Maybe we can have tacos.”
We chatter for a few minutes while he eats lunch. After we eat, I take my medication. There’s my ADHD medication, my diuretic, and of course, my multi-vitamin. My immune system needs all the support it can get. The rest of my medication is saved for in the evening, just before bedtime.
He stays for about twenty minutes and then goes back to work. I go to my computer and turn it on. I catch up on Facebook and the plethora of Words with Friends games I usually have going. I have about twenty going at once.
I also read the equivalent of a daily newspaper’s worth on online news articles. At any given moment I generally have ten different things open online.
While I’m playing catch up on my computer, my cat Caramel catches my attention. He bounces up and down the hall, making adorable mrring noises while he plays games with his other kitty siblings, Vanilla and Pepper. Hazel sits in my lap, ignoring all of the commotion.
Then, I turn my attention to my novel and close most of my online windows, and I attempt to write a scene. I leave one open for Facebook, in case a friend pops in for a quick chat.
I plug in my headphones to block out distractions. I have a really thick set that helps isolate me from the outside world. I put on a soundtrack that I’ve pieced together to help me write. I can’t write when it’s completely quiet. I have to have background music, like in the movies.
There are frequent interruptions though, despite the headphones, while on a diuretic. I make repeated trips down the hall to the bathroom. I readjust my oxygen line, making sure it hasn’t crimped anywhere along the way with my multiple trips down the hallway. As I walk, I am suddenly snagged. “Ouch!” It’s not very pleasant for the plastic tubing to jerk against your nose when it’s not supposed to.
I glance back and look behind me. Sure enough, there is a kitty holding my tube with his paw. “Meow?” he says. It’s his equivalent of a smirk. If cats could talk in human languages he would be saying, “I win!”
I roll my eyes and jerk the tube away from him. He bounds away up the hall to go pounce on an unsuspecting sibling.
The afternoon passes.
It’s not a bad afternoon, and I actually manage to get some work done. Then I crochet for a while on a blanket for a friend until Tim comes home from work.
We sit down to dinner. The evening activities are much like the morning ones. Sometimes we will watch some television together, more often than not, we both sit in the living room at our computers for a while.
There are no children to be tended, no homework to do. It’s just the two of us. The oxygen machine whirrs in the background, putting out it’s familiar white noise. To most people, the noise of my oxygen machine might be annoying or irritating. But for us, it’s different.
It’s background music.