The basic drill in the two Quiet Place films is that making the slightest sound can lead to terrible death. Because the idiotic, fang-toothed, gaping-cranial-plate crab monsters, constantly on the prowl for humans (not to eat but merely to kill), have highly attuned hearing, and all you have to do is drop a pair of scissors on the floor to put yourself in harm’s way. And so your entire life is about “shishhhhh” — be careful, step lightly, quiet as a mouse.

This is my life, in a sense, every night in West Hollywood.

After 10 pm or thereabouts I go into Quiet Place mode for fear of rousing a certain light sleeper in a nearby bedroom. The slightest jarring sound will result in a hellish response. The crack of a triple-A battery falling off the coffee table and onto the wood floor…the accidental clinking of a glass or the rattle of cutlery in the kitchen or the unwrapping of a loaf of bread…even the creaking of the floorboards in certain areas of the living room will lead to terrible repercussions. The punishment can happen straight off or sometimes the next morning, when your failure to maintain absolute radio silence the night before will be topic #1.

Due to no fault of their own light sleepers are unable to recover once woken up, you see, and their mood the following day, trust me, is inevitably sour and sullen. Light sleepers float on the surface of the pond, and woe betide anyone who rouses them from fragile slumber.

Deep sleepers like myself sink to the bottom of the pond, and are generally oblivious to odd glass-clinking or battery-dropping sounds. I can sleep anywhere, in almost environment. I can lie down on the floor of a carpeted airport lounge and nod off in less than two or three minutes.

Posted on 2.20.20: In an HE essay called “Eureka — A Quiet Place Metaphor,” I wrote that “all you have to do is change ‘don’t make a sound’ to ‘don’t make the wrong sound’ or more precisely ‘don’t say the wrong thing.’ Then it all fits. The big brown monsters are fanatical wokesters who rush in like the wind and destroy your life and livelihood if you mutter the wrong phrase or use incorrect terminology or happen to like Real Time with Bill Maher or late-period Woody Allen films or if you posted the wrong thing in 2009, etc.”

Earlier this year director John Krasinki dismissed these interpretations — insights that lend metaphorical heft to the 2018 original.

“That narrative is certainly not the narrative I intended to put out there,” he told Esquire‘s Matt Miller last February. “I never saw it that way or ever thought of it until it was presented to me in that way. It wasn’t about being, you know, silent and political…if anything it was about, you know, going into the dark and, and taking a chance when all hope looked lost, you take, you know, you fight for what’s most important to you. Again, my whole metaphor was solely about parenthood.”

My spirit sank into a heap when I read the words “solely about parenthood.”