Silence speaks to me. It whispers softly in my ear, a faint, cool draft. A breath that can barely be felt or perceived. An inadequate breeze that offers no relief. Like moonlight on the lawn. Almost light. But it dissipates and disintegrates, then evaporates the moment you look in its direction.
Almost sound. But not.
Silence speaks with a voice that can barely be heard above the noise of life. It is there, always, behind the scenes, in the background, hovering around the edges. It holds me at night. It wraps me in ghostly arms that offer no comfort. Cold arms. Shrouding me like a thick blanket, smothering me. But this blanket offers no warmth or tenderness. There is no comfort in the hollow, echoing emptiness of its grip.
Silence speaks. Bounces off the walls. Deafening.
It follows me everywhere. Haunts me. Ever nipping away at what little is left of my world. It hammers me. Colors my view. Beats on my eardrums until I can barely stand it. Silence shouts with an empty, hollow voice.
Silence speaks in a language that is unlike any other. 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 the residue away. It permeates my pores.
Silence stalks me. I sense it watching. Waiting. And sometimes, when I least expect it, silence comes. Up close and personal. Heavy. Unyielding. I could go mad in the deafening quiet of its presence.
I spend far too much time in the presence of silence. Far too much time in isolation. I am numbed by the exposure to its frosty quiet. It accompanies me everywhere. Walking beside me, even while I sit in a crowded room. It dulls all other sound, there, in the midst of the clamor and conversation that surrounds me, but of which I am not a part.
It is my companion in the middle of the night, when sound is dampened and while darkness is complete.
Silence speaks. It tells me I do not belong anywhere or to anyone. I sit alone, watching families, friends, lovers gather, laughing together, talking happily, kissing, touching. I am an outcast, silence reminds me. And as I sit on the fringes, it finds me, dogs me, taunts me.
It comes in the winter when days are short, nights are long and the cold is relentless. It follows me during solitary walks. Sits with me during lonely meals. It fills empty rooms. It joins me as I lay down in my vacant bed, longing to be held and wanted by something other than overpowering quiet. It rides with me as I drive the busy expressway on my way to work; my car is an island surrounded by people who have full and meaningful lives. It even sits in my office at work, reminding me that I’m different. That I do not truly fit. That I am not a 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.
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, feeds on my agony. It is my constant, distant, numbing companion. Taints all it touches. Certainly taints me. I am drawn ever downward into the whirlpool of despair that it creates in the hearts of its victims. For silence goes beyond solitude or simply being alone. It is unrelenting loneliness. A disturbing dimension that is both unsettling and destructive. Solitude is temporary; it can be healthy. Silence is the dark fiber of the life I live and it lives in every cell, every thought, every broken dream, every empty night. It is emptiness. Nothingness. And it is endless. Its massive doses provide no nurture, no hope, no light, no joy. It eats away at all that is good and life-giving. It thrives on our emptiness. And I, surrounded by its cold vacuum, offer it a feast from which to partake.
Silence speaks. Weighs me down. Drains me. It buffers all attempts to connect with life; with others. For within me, where silence sits, it whispers to my soul that I have no value. I am just as empty as the silence that poisons me. It has stolen all I held dear, all that ever mattered and numbed me to my bones.
Silence keeps me bound. Alone, insulated and unable to reach out to find meaningful companionship or friendship. It whispers, always whispers. “If they knew who you REALLY are, they would not stay.” “If they knew how broken you are, they would run from you in disbelief and 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 my only lasting relationship. Silence holds me tightly. This is the only hug offered to me, painful and chilling though it is. This is the only touch my cheek receives. And its kiss upon my hungry lips is the only kiss that is given me.
Silence speaks. I am ever so weary of listening to its voice.