(continued from previous)
John woke up at his usual time, which is always a few minutes on either side of 7:30. At least this is what it had been like on a consistent basis for the past three years, ever since he quit his job as a biology professor and decided to downsize to a studio flat by the beach. Waking up without having to go on autopilot had given his life new meaning: rather than constantly chasing after time, always running behind schedule, he had merged with time. Waking up at his own pace, using the first few moments of the day to simply absorb, to listen to the world around him: all the miniscule sounds that came through the walls of his tiny studio flat from far away, even with the windows shut. By now, he had become a good listener: he could tell apart the roaring of the ocean from the hissing of the coastal highway, and separate the two sounds in his head, even as the wind often tried to distort them, merge them and make them indistinguishable. He could tell whether it was a sunny morning outside or not, simply by the pitch and level of excitement he sensed in the birds’ conversations. He had subconsciously tuned into all of these sounds so well by now, to the point where he could almost get a “status update” on the world without even peeking out of his window. For the past three years, John had been re-discovering his senses: the same senses that all other animals use, and which constitute the universal language of the planet. He was tuning into the EoT.
John’s transformation had accelerated since he stopped relying on digital media and fake news. Like a blind person, all his senses were heightened when he gave up paying attention to the fake “windows” that humans had created to look at the world: the LCD screens, the AI deep fake journalists, the corporate-sponsored news that distorted the world’s natural body language.
Another one of the sounds that John could now hear, more vividly than ever, was the sound of the city across the bay. It was the combination of millions of sounds, all melting into one, constant white noise: the noise of civilisation. Unlike a beehive-type noise, this one had a muting effect: putting humans to sleep, and drowning out all the noises coming from nature. The white noise of the city was a giant black hole: noises, people and things disappeared into it, forever lost and disoriented as they spun round and round. From tiny footsteps and mouse clicks to diesel engines and fire drills, everything merged into one, big fog. No wonder humans couldn’t see or hear anything in front of them anymore. They couldn’t see beyond their sad civilisation, because they had made themselves deaf.
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books