It's cold today. In Montevallo, the trees are bent under the weight of rainwater in cupped leaves. The trees are changing colors. I can see them from the window on the third floor of Comer Hall. I watch the night come over the green space between the buildings and brush gold and amber across the shadow of the building on the pine trees. I think of swimming late in summer and I imagine someone from another country cutting broad strokes across the dark water away from me.
Last night, I woke in a start to the sound of silence covering the neighborhood like a wool blanket. No air conditioner. No refrigerator. No dog or husband snores. No sirens. No car alarms. No traffic on the street. No insects. The silence pulled me back into the world. Me. Who can sleep through a firetruck rambling down the street. A late-night band practice. It was too quiet to sleep. This is how I know the city has overcome my brain and made a home in my heart. The woods scare me, the concrete is comfort and people and move go move go throughout the silence of the night.