Deaf, Dead or Dreaming

Solomon Osinloye
3 min readMay 13, 2024

Story of silence where the certainty of existence fades into obscurity

The time was 4:00 AM on this Monday morning. I had woken up from a very exciting dream about climate change. I picked up my phone to record the dream I had just had because it had such an interesting creative direction; the details were so vivid that I didn’t want to lose the idea, fearing the fleeting nature of inspiration. I reached for my phone and sat up by the glass table at her bedside, hurrying to immortalize this vision through a voice memo.

I was quietly speaking into my phone when, disturbed by my sudden movements, she woke up, tossed, turned, then turned off the air conditioner, suddenly letting out a disruptive sneeze that almost shattered the tranquillity of my moment. I remember pausing from speaking and thinking, “How dare she sneeze? How did she choose this magic moment? Now I’ll have this sneeze in my recording, a very unwelcomed intrusion.” I pressed on, determined to salvage the remnants of my dream.

Screenshot of my voice memo

Three minutes and fifty-three seconds later, I was done collecting. I placed my phone on the table and stared into a corner of the dimly lit room, the faint morning light filtering through the slightly raised window blinds. Then I noticed the silence: a silence so profound it enveloped me like a thick fog, obscuring my senses and plunging me into a realm of existential uncertainty.

Bedroom window

In the eerie stillness, I wondered if this was the silence of death or the deafening absence of life. Am I dead? Is this my ghost sitting up from my body? I looked at the bed, hoping to see my body still lying there. LOL, it was not. (Maybe ghosts can’t see the bodies they died from.) Was I truly awake, or had I slipped into the realm of dreams? I was either dead or deaf; there was no way this silence was real.

Adrift in the void, she touched me and asked if I was okay, dispelling the illusion of solitude that had ensnared me. It was no longer silent. You would think I would be relieved from confirming that I was neither dead, deaf, nor dreaming, but I wanted to be confused for a little longer. For what good is knowing? Something about the silence was reassuring. Who wants to be grounded in the tangible reality of the present when you can float freely in silence, who?

I will go back to sleep now, but I am painfully aware that the next time I am awake, it will be chaos. I am visiting a project site that Deile is working on. Phew! Boy, will I miss this silence?

Applauses 👏 or comments would inspire me to share 

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