How We Keep Each Other Company

How We Keep Each Other Company Talia Bloch Placing the onion in the pan, she can hear it from the apartment below as she does most evenings: three, four loud staccato knocks that reverberate up into her kitchen. She imagines the young mother, home from work now and in jeans, standing by the stove, rapping a wooden spoon against a pot rim, knocking o√ the last bits of soup or sauce before beginning to stir again, as her boy sits nearby coloring the sky in his coloring book. This is also how we keep each other company. The machinery of us ringing through the floors and walls to brush up against the stillness of others. Our clamor finding its true contours from those who overhear. Footsteps climbing in the stairwell then the click shut of a lock, water rushing through the pipes as someone turns the taps, a muΔed admonishment from across a wall, a peal of laughter. Our lives are made more visible by the soft edges of the silence of those around. The way that when she lived back on twenty-third street voices would float up from the sidewalk below on summer nights and settle into the folds of her sofa, as she sat following the end of an evening: a scrape of soles, car doors closing, a motor starting. Or how now, with the apartments around growing dark, one by one, she thinks of the boy and his mother downstairs as she turns o√ the lights and shuts her bedroom door with a soft thud. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Prairie Schooner University of Nebraska Press

How We Keep Each Other Company

Prairie Schooner, Volume 91 (2) – Aug 9, 2017

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the University of Nebraska Press.
ISSN
1542-426X
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Talia Bloch Placing the onion in the pan, she can hear it from the apartment below as she does most evenings: three, four loud staccato knocks that reverberate up into her kitchen. She imagines the young mother, home from work now and in jeans, standing by the stove, rapping a wooden spoon against a pot rim, knocking o√ the last bits of soup or sauce before beginning to stir again, as her boy sits nearby coloring the sky in his coloring book. This is also how we keep each other company. The machinery of us ringing through the floors and walls to brush up against the stillness of others. Our clamor finding its true contours from those who overhear. Footsteps climbing in the stairwell then the click shut of a lock, water rushing through the pipes as someone turns the taps, a muΔed admonishment from across a wall, a peal of laughter. Our lives are made more visible by the soft edges of the silence of those around. The way that when she lived back on twenty-third street voices would float up from the sidewalk below on summer nights and settle into the folds of her sofa, as she sat following the end of an evening: a scrape of soles, car doors closing, a motor starting. Or how now, with the apartments around growing dark, one by one, she thinks of the boy and his mother downstairs as she turns o√ the lights and shuts her bedroom door with a soft thud.

Journal

Prairie SchoonerUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Aug 9, 2017

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