Silence speaks to me. It whispers thinly in my ear, a faint draft that can barely be perceived. An inadequate breeze that offers no relief. Like moonlight on the lawn. Almost light. Almost sound. But it dissipates and disintegrates, then evaporates the moment you look in its direction. Silence holds me at night. It wraps me in ghostly arms that offer no comfort. It shrouds me like a blanket, smothering me. But there is no warmth or tenderness offered or found in the hollow, echoing emptiness of its grip. It bounces off the walls. Deafening. Silence follows me. Haunting me. Ever nipping at the substance of my world. It hammers me. Colors my view. Beats on my eardrums until I can barely stand it, shouting at me with an empty, hollow voice. Silence speaks in a language that is all its own. It is a language I have heard so often, I have begun to understand it, reluctant listener that I am. It envelopes me. I feel it in my bones. I taste it in my mouth. No shower can wash it away. I permeates my pores.
Silence stalks me. I sense it watching. Waiting. Sometimes, when I least expect it, silence comes. Heavy. Unyielding. I could go mad in the deafening quiet of its presence.
Indeed, I spend far too much time in the presence of silence. Far too much time in isolation. I am numbed by the exposure.
Silence walks beside me, even in a crowded room. It is there, amid the clamor and conversation that surrounds me, but of which I am not a part. It comes often in the middle of the night, when sound is dampened and darkness is complete. It comes when groups of people who love each other gather, exuding warmth, and it underlines the painful point that I do not belong. Not there…not anywhere. I am an outcast. And there, on the fringes, silence finds me, dogs me, taunts me. It comes in the winter when days are short, nights are long and the cold is relentless. It comes during solitary walks, lonely meals and it fills empty rooms. It comes when I am laying in my vacant bed, longing to be held and wanted. It comes as I drive the busy expressway to work; my car is an island surrounded by people who have full and meaningful lives. It comes at work, reminding me that I am different. That I do not truly fit. That I am not part of the social hubbub of the work environment. I am forever and always an island, no matter where I am or what I am doing. I remain separate. Disconnected. Aloof.
Silence fills my heart and overwhelms my soul. It is the white noise of my world.
Silence sits and watches, toying with me. It draws strength from my pain, feeding on my agony. It is my constant, distant, numbing companion. It taints all it touches. It certainly taints me. I am drawn ever downward into the whirlpool of despair that it creates in every one of its victims. Silence goes beyond solitude or simply being alone. It is an undesired dimension that is both disturbing and destructive. Solitude is temporary; it can be healthy. Silence is the fiber of the life I live and it lives in every cell, every thought, every broken dream, every empty night. For it is emptiness. Nothingness. And it is endless, yet in massive doses, provides no nurture, no hope, no light, no joy. In fact, it eats away at all that is good and life-giving. It thrives on our isolation. And I offer it a feast from which to partake.
Silence weighs me down. It drains me. It buffers all attempts to connect. For within me, where silence sits, there is a knowing that I am of no value. I am just as empty as the silence that has poisoned me. It has stolen all vibrancy from my being and numbed me until I am insulated and unable to reach out and find meaningful companionship or friendship. It whispers, always whispers. “If they knew who you REALLY are, they would not want to spend time with you.” “If they knew how broken you are, they would run from you in horror.” “If they knew your history, they would walk away from you and never look back.” “But I am here. I will not leave you.”
Silence is my enemy. My only companion. We have a sick relationship. But it is the only relationship I have.
Silence holds me. This is the only hug made available to me, painful and chilling though it is. This is the only touch my cheek is granted. And its kiss upon my hungry lips is the only kiss that is offered me.