Choppy water

In which I take a deep breath

There’s a rhythm that jerks my chain. That winds me up to creaking point. That cuts me to the tender quick.

Question – 

Answer – 

Silence.

Pause.

Question – 

Answer – 

Silence.

Pause.

Question – 

Answer – 

Silence.

Pause.

And repeat.

My stride is repeatedly drawn up short. The chords halt before resolution. My words hang in the air, wisping to nothing as they fail to penetrate ears. 

Question – 

Answer – 

Silence.

Pause.

I occasionally break the loop, with the faint hope the system will reboot. That the floundering whale of conversation will find its way back to the ocean of words.

Question – 

Silence.

Half answer.

Pause.

The whale drowns.

Salve

In which I curl up in the love of strangers

I spent the past few days bathing in a pool of like minds.

(Also a lot of sweat.)

There’s an inordinate sense of comfort when everyone around you shares your values, when you can speak to a stranger without carefully excising all the bits of your self that might prove controversial.

In times like these, the warmth and friendliness of fellow humans smooth over the bruises that bloom daily in the wake of the morning news. The songs that break lips begin to burn away the helplessness coiled around hearts. Determination long dimmed stokes at the touch of new hands.

And in the real world, where strangers don’t talk to strangers, eyes dance to avoid another gaze, and another bruise marks my skin, I’ll recall that this stalwart silence does not mean that I am alone.