My mom doesn’t listen to radio when she drives to work. She turns it off once I step out of the car. She doesn’t enjoy the noise, she prefers the silence.

I asked her why. She says that it allows her to think, to be lost in her own thoughts.

I told her that when I drive, I must have the radio on. Having it turned off just sends my mind whirling. I scare myself with my paranoia. She just laughed at my reply.

But I’ve been thinking: Is it simply my paranoia or do I fear the thoughts that the silence brings me, like they do tonight?

I always turn on the radio. I listen to music when I read. I rarely let nothing ring in my ear, I always look out for background noise. When I listen to the quiet, my mind strays to things I hate to think about. I feel the rise of self-doubt and bitterness. I feel the fear of the future and the haunting of the past. I notice that my nails aren’t even or that my wrist twinges. Every flaw is magnified a thousand times in the quiet. Every regret is sent pulsing through my mind.

No, I like the noise because it drowns out the things that make me feel too much; that allows me to wake up to another day.

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