What gets to me sometimes is the emptiness and the quiet. I remember before the war how I could sit on my porch and hear neighbors' dogs, listen to the kids down the street playing, hear the rythmic patter of joggers on the bike path, and occasionally a plane would fly overhead on its way to Midway or O'Hare airport. Since we lived near a relatively busy road, there was always the background noise of cars and trucks. Once in a while there was sirens, but overall it was thing you were used to, something that made you comfortable, that the world was moving as it should.
When the Upheaval came, it got noisy as hell for a while, then it got quiet. Cars were stopped, planes no longer flew, children didn't dare play outside, and the only people running were the ones running for their lives. For a long time, the world moaned and groaned and bit and bled.
But it got quiet. It had to. You couldn't survive being noisy like before. Not with the way the dead could find you by sound. Nowadays, we use the quiet as a tool, but I have run into those who have gone somewhat crazy from the lack of noise. I have no doubt that if a cell phone were to go off in their vicinity, they would kill themselves in the scramble to just have a familiar noise from the past in their hand.
But things are changing. Noise now is a sign of safety, a sign that an area is secure and safe. Eventually, we'll all make some noise, and that will be a hell of a party.