Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The incredible noise of silence

Ever been in a situation where silence is oppressive? Of course you have, if you haven't then you probably are not living your life correctly.  Silence can be incredibly loud. It is a bit like a freight train, it might take a while to get started, and there may be only an 'engine' at first, but eventually it will lengthen. Just like that train, adding cars, and cars, some carrying hobos, some carrying coal, some carrying the hopes and dreams of random strangers.  Those 'cars of silence' will attach themselves to the engine, and the next thing you know, you have an entire train of silence, stretching out for miles into the distance.

It is that distance that you want, the distance away from this mournful train of silence that is oppressing your very soul, providing that you possess a soul (you might be a soulless ginger for all I know).  This train of silence is going to roll over you like a well oiled, well fueled Panzer division, and there is really not much you can do about it. Put a smile on your face, and wave to the crowd as you board your very own train of silence. However, it is unlikely that you are the conductor, engineer, or sole passenger on this train of silence. Single silence is much more easy to break. All it takes is the ability to talk to yourself. Group silence, and two people can be a group if they try hard enough, is a much more difficult task. It requires cooperation, and it is likely that non-cooperation is what got you on board the train of silence in the first place.  That non-cooperation probably happened way too fast for you to do anything but gawk in awe, and then sob in despair.

Dual (or more) silences become what 'they', whomever they are, will say become pregnant silences. I've never seen a silence give birth to anything that you want to wrap up in swaddling clothes and nurture. By the time pregnant silences give birth to their offspring it is generally too late. You've got fuck all to do, but try your best, which is rarely good enough, to break that silence. But, how do you go about that? Do you cough discreetly? Sneeze, or pretend some other bodily function to try to break the silence? After all, you were probably an equal party to the silence starting in the first place, and wouldn't it seem a sign of weakness if you were the first to break it?

For how long is this silence going to drag? It will begin to take on a life of its own if you or someone doesn't do something about it, and which one of you is going to blink, or draw first. You are, in many ways, like two Old West gunfighters staring each other down in front of the awed townspeople at high noon. Eventually one of you is going to either have to blink, or go for your pistol, and hope again hope that you make the right decision. Is blinking the better option? There is but one way to find out, or do you not back down? Do you reach for your iron, and hope that you get that first, vital shot in first.  It is also important, now that the chips are down, that you do not freeze. For freezing, no matter how cold the environment has become, is usually fatal.

The longer you stare across that dusty street at you companion, opponent, fellow traveler, or fellow idiot, the longer you have to think about your decision. It is an important one, one that you should not take lightly, and one that you can only hope will mesh with their decision. It might be easier to lie about your decision, but if the other person knows you at all, they will be able to see through your lies without even trying.  If those decisions are the same, well then the train of silence, that train that was rumbling over the tracks of despair laid down across your heart, will become a train of joy.  A train that we all want to catch, a train that we never tire of riding. A train that should come around your little outpost of desolation more often. Something wonderful, something quite beyond compare, and something that once missed, will cause you to regret the silence that you are now no longer sharing. 

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