A Literati Mafia Collaboration: Part I
In the end, everything is silent. Maybe that’s why I hated it so much, I’d always liked beginnings so much more. My flat when my parents reached the end of the end of their marriage was like being a character in a silent movie. We might as well have been in black and white. I laid in bed, waiting for them to start shouting, arguing, reading the same old script they’d been reciting every single night for years when they were foolish enough to think their insomniac daughter had fallen asleep. But it never came. There was nothing left to fight for. The war had ended and they’d both lost, claiming my childhood as a casualty. I never thought I’d miss the fighting, but somehow the silence was worse. My own relationships are plagued by all the things left unsaid, silence where there should have been some type of conversation. At least an I-love-you, even if it was a lie. But I was too good at being quiet by then. It’s not like screaming had ever produced any results. I had learned to store everything inside my chest, not caring when it cracked my ribs with the effort of keeping it hidden, because if no one knew then I was still the strongest. When my mother died I learned what real silence was. Absolute silence. Abhorrent silence. I’ve forgotten the sound of her voice, how can I prove it even existed? It seems ironic that my mother and I were so skilled at manipulating words and yet defined our relationship by all the words we didn’t say, didn’t even know how to say. And the world was so fucking loud afterwards, utterly disrespectful. I’d never liked silence, but I suddenly needed it to save me from the emotional overload. Someone offered me alcohol and I drank until the cries in my head went quiet, and even though I was distantly aware that the pain was postponed and not erased, I felt comforted by the sheer nothingness of being completely hollowed out. In that moment my enemy became my refuge.
Silence rips through me. Courses over open wounds painfully healing. The noise, constant movement, input, talk talk talk, opinions, drivel, busyness, serve only to hide flesh ripped open; the dirty shit that’s been ground in over and over. Flecks of gravel and pus covered over. Mud festering. But silence. Silence opens the wound. Washes all the bad shit out. It hurts. God it’s painful, but necessary. I welcome the healing flood of silence. When my mind can truly move forward, processing, analyzing, recognizing Truth. Ah sweet silence. Pour over me, heal my hurts from within. Become louder than the voices constantly shadowing my mind, to rest in Silence, transforming into the real Me.
How could silence be so tranquil and threatening at the same time? How could I want to dive into its sea with divine zeal, eager to let the peace envelope me with its feather-soft embrace? Eager to feel the wings of nothingness soothe my thrashing heart? To bring it back to a meditative rhythm? To sing it a lullaby of sweet swirling springs and skipping stones? To cradle me like a caring mother, hiding me from the chaos of this world? How could I want all that, but dreadfully be terrified by it at the same time? To see it as a self-righteous preacher, screaming at me for all my superficiality? A virtuous mirror that reflects the vanity in all my efforts? An ominous black hole, swallowing me with its judgement-day force? A mouth of a ravenous beast come to overpower me with its icepick teeth of unspeakable, unknowable truths? To chew me up like an insignificant blade of grass and toss me out crumpled and torn, needing to start my entire life’s work from scratch? It’s what I fear and what I want. My foe and my savior. Perhaps one day, I’ll be strong enough to face its soul-changing power.
The rivers are crimson with tainted hope, the blue Jacarandas rustle with the wind of loneliness, the path is strewn with crunched, withered leaves and rusty cars, punctured and useless. And a deep silence of not wanting to fight anymore permeates, penetrates, pierces and positions itself within my rib-cage, slowly coating my heart with its unheard, unfathomable screams. The lub-dub becomes a more pronounced Lub-Dub. I keep walking, though the horizon is slightly askew, and an unseen but palpable funeral cortège surrounds me, cracking the pavement with hobnailed boots, a sound that only I can hear.
©️ The Literati Mafia – 2018
A collaboration of Mafia members Fighting the dying light, The Melancholy Spitfire, Caribou Crossings, Chelarose, (re)imagining the mundane, My Bleeding Words, A Writer’s Soul, Pretty Kool Dame, The Life of a Dreamer, The Pretty Poems