Often after too much wine, David Anderson would wander from room to room in his big old house. Much bigger than what a single man, a widowed man, needed. But the house seemed to have a hold on him. It nettled at old memories, some good, some sad and many bittersweet. He would stare at the little personal things that he and his wife had accumulated over the twenty four years of marriage. It was several months now since her death. The personal things she had used, that she had touched, had become inspired. An essence of her lived in them. He would leaf through an old album or diary expecting the rush of melancholy that always came. He had kept some of her clothes. They were still hanging in the bedroom closet.
He had just gone to bed. It was late, but that had become his habit. Sleep came easier, it seemed, if you made it wait before agreeing to it. As he was settling in he thought he heard voices. He strained to listen. Soft, very soft murmurings seemed to come from the other end of the house. Had he left the TV or the radio on, he wondered. He was pretty sure he hadnít. He got up to check. As he moved through the house the voices murmured on. They became no louder nor more faint and moved along with him as an unfocused presence. The TV and radio were silent and sat mutely as if listening too.
On his way back to bed he stopped at the dining room window. The outside lighting was just sufficient to see that the street and neighbor yards were quiet and vacant. No voices were coming from there. Though its source was a mystery, there seemed no threat or frightening aspect to this curious intrusion. Like reflected radio waves from an ocean away, someones pensive conversation, barely audible and not understood, had drifted into his room. It was not a hallucination. His mind was too clear for that. Finally it faded to silence.