It’s very quiet in the Cold House. The windows are all shut and sealed. The furnace isn’t bellowing. The radiators aren’t hissing and clanking. The fridge compressor rarely runs. I can’t remember hearing the laptop cooling fan come on in a long while.

Yesterday we had an ice storm. I could hear the ice chinklets pinging on the steel cellar bulkhead. I could hear crystalized tree limbs rattling like chandeliers in the wind. I could hear my neighbor playing hip-hop while she does ab crunches. Okay, so it’s not totally quiet. But it’s unusually so.

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