Silence. He hangs in the air around me, refusing to leave side, clinging to me like grey does to an elephant’s hide.
That’s something I try to do, but the funny thing about Silence is that try as I might, he is impossible to shake. Sure, if skulk away when he’s not looking, I can get away for a while, make it to where all the other sheep gather, running from their shepherds. But none of us dare speak of him, for fear he will find us. It is a childish, irrational fear.
Of course he will find us.
All of us.
It may not be for a while, maybe even long enough to trick ourselves that we are free, but he will find us. He’s panting, nearly out of breadth, but he sneaks in through the cracks of communication and thought. When a couple breaks up, or old friends are re-united, Silence can find a way in.
Why do we run from Silence? Why do we fear him so? Silence takes our psychic identity and puts it in a choke hold, forcing us to recognize the insignificance if our own existence. I scream, calling out to the sky for a friend, a savior.
Yet the Wind and Silence have a pact. Wind will not save you. No matter how loud or with how much force I cry out, my thoughts are lost in nothingness, reflected back at my own conscience, as if the gods had smacked me in the face and said “Your words are not good enough for us.” I’ve tried to ask them why, what makes their discourse superior, but I never get a response.
The devil comforts me.
Sartre says hell is spending eternity in a room with people you cannot bare without an exit. I wonder if my head is that prison, corking up my conscience, leaving it to battle with itself, feebly trying to stay sane, ignoring the fact we had lost that battle years ago. Silence patrols the hall outside the door.
I hear him.
Then I hear the heavy diesel engine of the school bus around the corner. I smile with tragic realization and dread. The bus has 5 exits, and they are always shut.