Tuesday, September 7, 2010


He knows the cruelty of ignorance and plays a deft hand.  Not the ignorance of not knowing but the ignorance of ignoring. I see him without looking, hear him without listening. I know him inside, outside, all around, not with my eyes but as a blind woman senses and perceives, just evidence of him existing, being present. I know he's there ethereal and omnipresent but silent, unyielding, unfeeling. 

He's so close that I can hear him breathe but no breath touches my skin. So near I can imagine his warmth but no heat emanates.  So tactile,  my skin crawls with the potential of touch but he does not lay a hand. He makes my heart race, my ears ring, perspiration bead.

His ignorance brings tears where there should be none because he is blase. He is the hider in the house, the silence on the phone, the shadow on the wall, the light flickering without a source. He watches, he waits, he pauses  making the quiet disquieting.  The heaviness is unbearable and the silence grows into a noiseless cacophony.

I imagine his angel face, tear-stained and wrought. His heart heavy,  his mind racing. I imagine him without solace or companions, dark and depressed, sad and lonely, I imagine him in caverns deep and clamouring for release. A  heavy burden when sucked into the ether and the silence screams. I imagine him alone, wanting to be alone but wanting to be heard, afraid to share.  I'm teased, taunted distraught. I'm  embarrassed at my folly and concern.  He makes me fearful and agitated while he waits and watches in  silence.

There's no solace without conversation or even argument  or physicality. No satiation found in berating or objection. He ignores and I'm reduced to amoebic slush, nothing, less than nothing, left with only my own  emotional weakness and imaginings.

A raging silence that has me whirling out of control but remains unbroken. I want quarter to his thoughts,  glimpses into his psyche. I need a place in his heart but he ignores and the silence roars.

Finally, he speaks and smiles and sweetly chastises, blows kisses across the ether and the quiet stops, broken, shattered in mercurial beads and the sweet libation of reassurance pours from his lips and I am, once again, becalmed on his quiet ocean, knowing he is present, visible and real.

He whispers and the silence lies broken.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Such a cheerful gathering of the fortunate.  All dripping with shiny things. All new and clean, hilarity ensues. Their lives are the lives of others, so remote so distant that she has nothing at all in common with them any more.  Look at their perfectly styled hair, French manicures and couture. They have happy husbands who share 18 holes on Saturdays and a few beers on Fridays. Their bodies stroked by loving hands and lips kissed by their happy children. Her face is long past being kissed with anything other than a fist.
She pulls up her forearm to shield her eyes, a vain attempt to deflect the blow

So incessant is their conversation that she retreats into silence watching them animate. There are conversations within conversations and nobody seems to be listening to each other, they’re all talking ‘at’ each other. She is totally ignored.  It’s easier to remain hushed, quiet, silent. She doesn’t want to talk. She doesn’t need their prying eyes or sympathetic sighs, not here, not now. Not ever really. It’s her business, her silence, her choice and not for them to judge.

Too preoccupied with wiping noses, and dishing up the quiche. Temporarily distracted by demanding toddlers and passing the salad. The noise and chaos are palpable and reaches that mad maternal crescendo.  Silence is preferable. She has nothing nice to say so chooses to say nothing at all. She feels nauseous as they raise their voices above the melee and speak of shallow things and pretty shoes.
She kneels and clasps her hands behind her head before she feels his boot

A lunch on a warm Wednesday seemed like a good idea. She was like these women once, secure, happy, attractive. She was confident and professional, loved and nurtured. She too could chatter and chirrup endlessly about things that really didn’t matter but now her thoughts are focused on the more serious side of life, whether she should stay or go -  and so she remains silent. She won't come for lunch again. 

Her hands now tight around her ears to block his bully bellow

He's becoming careless, not so particular about his mark.  He rarely used to fly off the handle. Abuse is now his choice, his power, and fear and subjugation her weakness. She squirms nervously, smooths her hair and raises her collar to obscure his purple kiss upon her neck.

He rages from behind and pulls her down by the hair

His carelessness is painful. Back-handing without warning, pushing her from behind. His criticism incessant, he slugs her hard against the mirrored wardrobe door until it comes crashing off it's tracks and shatters as wantonly as his flailing fists. She sees her bloodied form in a hundred sharpened shards and knows that it will soon be over. He's beaten her within an inch, this time he'll go all the way and she'll take it lying down.
She curls into a foetal position and feels his buckle slam her back

Now he feels such self-directed guilt. He's apologetic and he weeps. He acts contrite and reassures.  No point any more. She lies bleeding on the floor wearing her bruises as macabre badges of courage. Hope has been abandoned but her pain is felt no more. She's just cold, still, silent, lying broken.

Entry for Tenth Daughter of Memory, "Silence Lies Broken"