For the first time in many years, you are not waiting for anything.
The realization doesn’t cheer you in the least. In fact, it peeves you. You feel cheated somehow. It is almost as if you’ve let yourself down.
You thought you would feel free, unshackled. But you don’t. You feel oppressed, weighed down by a sense of loss; as if you’ve lost a childhood friend or a lifelong companion. There is no quickening of the heart, no sudden light in your eyes anymore.
You should be happy at what is not, or sad that it is. This neither-here-nor-there is like being suspended in mid-space. How undignified!
Yet, you are neither dejected nor enthused. There is neither laughter nor tears. They both feel equally irrelevant.
There is just a still silence within you… feeling like an untamed, tumultuous mountain river arrested abruptly in mid-flight….
In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.
For once in your life there are no questions plaguing you. Since there are no questions, you are not floundering about trying to look for answers either. At least that should have made you feel lighter. But it doesn’t. The truth is, you miss the strain of having to look for answers. Now it isn’t there, you feel bereft.
The questions haven’t faded because you’ve accepted the unacceptable, that tiny point of revolt still breathes in you somewhere. There are no questions because they seem absolutely pointless. Moreover, they sound too much like work. And you can’t be bothered with work, not now. Not ever, perhaps.
The silence feels good. You need to rest. It is time to take a respite. This is the moment of cessation. You are sure of that, even if you are sure of nothing else. And if this moment of cessation stretches to an endless progression of such moments causing everything to cease permanently- so be it! You are done being responsible and reasonable. Let it all cease once and for all. Maybe that’s what was destined all along.
From where you sit, you can see far into the misty distance. The horizon is draped in a blue-grey film of fog. Above the layer the sky is melting into purplish-pink and orange. There is the sun out there… somewhere. The thought neither cheers nor depresses you. Ah, the Sun you say to yourself. It is as if it had nothing to do with you. God bless it you say, and that is all. Like waving hopelessly at a vision you hoped to reach someday.
You look at the fog placidly; it tastes of silence.
Seeing her sitting there unresponsive makes me realize that silence has a sound.
It has crept closer to where you sit. It doesn’t advance all at once, in a clumped up ball. It inches forward in shafts, as damp fingers reaching out- some long some short. While one finger curls softly and coldly around your chest, the rest of you remains untouched by it- dry and cool. The coolness you feel on the skin of your arms is a latent cold… like you would feel if you walk past an open refrigerator door… a slight, enticing hint, no more.
You feel an army of goose-bumps begin their march in your scalp. A shiver runs through you in a spasmodic jerk. You watch yourself detachedly. She is coping well, you hear somewhere within you. Umm, comes the reply. How long I wonder?
The silence rushes in to fill the momentary breach. It all looks placid again, the fissure fading away… like the surface of a still lake. It is important for the surface to be still, you tell yourself.
Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it.
Every once in a way you send out a deliberate ripple… like a All is Well signal. You feel you must try to assure someone out there that there is still life in you. Who, you don’t know. There probably no one watching but you hang on that delusion even if that white lie is all that is left to you. It wouldn’t do for them to think you were dead; it wouldn’t be fair! So you send out a ripple from time to time. Here, you see? I’m fine. I’m fine, right?
They don’t answer. Or maybe they do but their answer doesn’t break the thick wad of silence that envelopes you. You stare outward, unmoving.
All you hear is silence.