Lamentation on Oral Communication


He was always quiet. Always. I could count on him to be either listening or focusing, but always quiet. And I was always talking. Trying to fill the spaces between us, crowd the air with small talk and silly banter that meant nothing in the end. I was trying to fill us up. Plug the holes that I thought I saw in our relationship, patch the cracks between every sentence, cover the spaces inbetween our conversation.

Now I see that instead of filling the cracks, I was instead pushing words into them. Widening them. Until it was a chasm I had no idea how to cross.

Sometimes, in the odd moments when I had calmed down enough to silence my unending chatter and just sit with him, I would stare at his hair, and hope that this would never end. The quiet mortification in which we held each other, the almost reverent way we would try to not touch, and the way he would always give me the neon orange plastic cup with Thor on it. Our friendship was slowly evolving to fondness. I didn’t know what to do, how to show my infatuation.

So I talked.

I spoke of the weather, and his dog, and of how the game of darts was invented, and how the sandwich got it’s name from a duke. I babbled on and on incessantly.

I talked during movies when I had my head on his shoulder. (His arm was painfully asleep and he didn’t tell me.) I talked when we walked his dog, and our fingers touched when he handed me the leash. (The dog was skittish around me.) I talked when we ate. (Turkey sandwiches on white bread. Cheddar cheese, lots of mayo.) I never stopped.

Except when we parted.

When ever we left each other’s company, silence would reign. We used to text, but as I got more unsure of what to say, more uncomfortable with my own inadequacy to do small talk, the cyber space went dead between us. The messages and silly emoticons, which used to flow so easily from my thumbprints, slowed and stuttered until it ceased entirely. Eventually neither of us tried anymore. And the silence got louder.

I didn’t know what to do. How to fix this. My endless babbling had done me a disservice, and now there were no words left. Lost in a jumble of nouns and verbs, I had somehow forgotten to leave a space for he and I to be together. Too many sharp corners of my thoughtless gibbering had driven him away, and no amount of words could spin a rope to drag him back to me.

So I lost  him.

Drifting away in an enclave of quiet.

 

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5 Replies to “Lamentation on Oral Communication”

  1. wow. You have a very pleasing way of putting just the right words together so they become harmonic. “The silence got louder” was my favorite line in this entire post. Please keep writing always. ❤

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    1. Thanks so much! You make writing worthwhile with your kind comments. Actually, this was inspired by your poem ‘She: a poem of Jealousy’ because it was just so beautiful. I was hoping for the same type of feeling that you gave, that you were experiencing the emotions. Honestly I don’t think I did it quite right, and I just keep re-reading your gorgeous poem for inspiration. 🙂

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  2. This is both cute and very sad. 😦 You are so good at writing! I love the way you can piece words together. You write poetry without having to say that’s what it is. All the words roll together so solidly and it just sound like you and your thoughts. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you!! Without you posting your epic stories chapter by chapter, and your labor of love with HA, I probably never would have started blogging my stories. You have always been a great inspiration and a wonderful author.
      Also I’m glad you think it’s poetry-but-not-quite-poetry! That’s what I’m going for, and I’m glad you interpreted it the way I had hoped. 🙂 I feel like poetry can only be done correctly by true masters, so I try to just make my experiences more in-depth and emotional without having to deal with prose or rhyme or anything. I’m so happy that it worked out. 😀

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