[The modern age] knows nothing about isolation and nothing about silence. In our quietest and loneliest hour the automatic ice-maker in the refrigerator will cluck and drop an ice cube, the automatic dishwasher will sigh through its changes, a plane will drone over, the nearest freeway will vibrate the air. Red and white lights will pass in the sky, lights will shine along highways and glance off windows. There is always a radio that can be turned to some all-night station, or a television set to turn artificial moonlight into the flickering images of the late show. We can put on a turntable whatever consolation we most respond to, Mozart or Copland or the Grateful Dead.
I wanted to scream as I stood there, my toes hanging over the edge of the dock. I wanted to let a gut-wrenching howl rip from my disfigured throat toward those clouded skies. I wanted to say every swear word my mother had ever taught me not to say.I would have settled for a cut-off whimper, just as long as some kind of sound came from my lips.