I had a revelation after my husband returned home from his month in California: he is loud.
He's not necessarily loud in an offensive way (not that he's not capable of that too, trust me internets, he is), but more just loud in a, has-to-fill-any-gaps-of-silence-with-noise kind of way. Like a 4 year old who asks "Why?" 10 thousand times.
He sings all the time. Not necessarily popular music or known songs as much as life narration. One of his greatest hits is the "I'm shampooing my hair" song, which basically includes that line and one other one about "getting oh-so clean." I have to remind him many mornings that perhaps our housemate whose bedroom shares a wall with our shower does not give a crap about the cleanliness of his hair at 6 in the morning. And also, did you notice that it's morning and NO SINGING IS ALLOWED?
He's also been known to sing about organizing a folder, looking for socks and basically every single thing he might be doing at any given time. These songs don't usually rhyme, but he is not perturbed by this.
At first this narration singing was a great enigma to me, because he won't sing in front of other people at all, but when it's just us, he's like a frickin' jukebox. And then I was wandering around his parents house for Thanksgiving a few years ago when I heard a familiar melody, but with the words "I'm chopping the onion" instead of "I'm shampooing my hair." This is apparently the only genetic trait he shares with his mother.
(And also, I saw this episode of South Park and laughed endlessly, because, hello, this is practically the soundtrack to my life.)
After being alone for a month, his noisiness was surprising, but welcome. And as much as I have been ragging on him, his bubbly, singing personality is one of the things I love the most (except, you know, in the morning). And now that he's gone again (on the residency interview-pallooza which includes 12 interviews in 4 states in 18 days. Seriously, someone give them man a trophy. And a job.) I'm realizing just how much I miss the noise. There's no one here singing about their day or asking me the same question 30 times because I didn't answer the first 29 times and apparently attempt 30 seemed luckier. There's no one sharing their thoughts and humming about their plans.
I come home to a quiet house and an empty bed. I come home to a place without singing, to a room without a ball of energy and noise awaiting my arrival.
I come home to a place, that in its deafening silence, doesn't really feel like home at all.