Thursday, April 9, 2009

The reluctant conversationalist

The dreaded silence.
His turn to speak now.
To fill the silence, to put words out.

Words he knows won't come.
For a moment there's that mirage, that eternal hope that the words have finally forgiven him but he knows, as he always knows, everything is still the same.

Bleeding silences while he searches himself for a sound, a self-loathing smile trying to keep the pain at bay, he knows, he knows his futility only too well. Fretting, sputtering, stuttering, clutching at cunningly evasive words, tripping over himself, fishing about for redemption only to realise he's condemned to forever choke in the hush that lies between his thoughts and his voice, he knows. It's easier to listen to words than to try to make them.

"Listen, my dear, listen", he mouths soundlessly, "speaking is one of those silent crimes in life."

The pain of wrestling with words, of weaving meaning into their spines, of stringing their lifelessness together into sentences, of finally thrusting them onto a silence and tarnishing it with the abrasion of the spoken word... The shame, and the guilt, they all tell him the same thing, that one simple yet undeniable truth that silence is heavier than words.

To tumble through life, to find meanings in empty spaces, to extract life from the stillness of chaos, to nestle silent selves into memory and to thrive on moments stolen from silences and silences stolen from moments, isn't that what time merits from its remorseless assassins? A hushed breath in a silence, isn't that what true beauty aspires to? To extend a calm and receive another in return, isn't this expression of a wordless understanding the greatest thing about being human?

Waiting for elusive words to arrive and left to smile at faces when all he wants is a blissful silence, smarting amidst the words, burdened with the inexpressible silence inside him, he asks himself, did it have to be so hard?

Like being a dot of ink irrevocably rooted to the centre of a white paper. Like in a battlefield, scratching and scarring every time. Like learning to breathe underwater.

But he knows, all that he knows, he knows it only because he has had the luxury of words, of the beauty of words shattering innocent silences, silences which wouldn't be what they were if it wasn't for the inexistence of the words they lacked.

Words ripping silences apart, silences hushing words, words in silences, silences in words... Words and silences, those two strange bedfellows, incessantly at argument, always driving each other apart yet forever in the throes of one another, possessors of strangely intertwined destinies.

For now, he is the reluctant conversationalist and he shall play his part.
To just sit there, and wait for the silences to return. One after the other.
To patiently wait until there shall be no silences left to wait for anymore.

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