Click on radio.
"North Korea's army is threatening to blow up South Korea's army...This is NPR news..."
Click off radio.
In the middle of the day, my house is quiet. But upstairs there's the constant sound of water flowing in the turtle tank in Claire's room, where Washington, her red-eared slider, lives. It's a fairly simple life; lean towards the light by day, curl up in the dark nest of stones under the bridge at night. Pull head into shell and sleep when Claire turns off the basking lamp for the evening.
In the morning, the turtle gets fed, teeth get brushed, we go to the bus stop, the day begins. If I'm writing upstairs, sometimes I'll sneak down the hall and find Washington sunning himself under his basking lamp. There's a certain elegance in the way his head tilts up towards the light, with one back leg curving behind him in an arabesque. I stand in the doorway, barely breathing, not wanting to disturb his reverie.
The sound of footsteps in the hallway used to make him leap from his bridge and scurry into the water. These days he doesn't disturb quite as easily. Now I can tiptoe into Claire's room and he'll stay on his bridge, as long as I pretend to not see him. I can pick up the teddy bear sprawled on the rug and marvel, from a distance, at his face straining towards the light, his mini-sun.