The Hum

By Camille Sherman

It startled me. The devices were powered off, the lights relieved of duty. The street below offered no atmosphere or background detail. All is still. 

I whip my head, crane my neck, squint my eyes. The hum does not become louder, more apparent, more directional. It almost becomes maddeningly softer, like a drop of water has come and diluted its color so its wayward edges are harder to spot. 

It doesn’t quite have a pitch. I rule out the heater, much more ostentatious when it kicks on to rescue cold feet. I come to terms with the fact that it is likely the refrigerator, reassuring me that it is trusty and functional.

I put my mug in the sink, grab the blanket off the couch, and slide into bed. Lying there, I realize the devices are powered off, the world is asleep. The low hum is the sound of myself, alone, sitting still.

Camille Sherman is a professional opera singer from the Bay Area. She trained at The Boston Conservatory and the San Francisco Conservatory of music, and served as an Artist in Residence at Pensacola Opera and Portland Opera. She currently lives in Portland, where she continues to sing and develop projects with local artists.

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