We sat by the lakeshore singing our praises, a harmony backed by the gentle lapping of wind moved water and ingrained natures. We decided then that truth was indeed subjective, and having been subjected to lies in our lives, promised that love would be our new reality. This is something we are allowed to feel, we said, though it sat unspoken as the truest entitlement. Later we would hold hands and split silences, staring at one another’s shifting irises, and laugh at how easy it had become to be honest with ourselves. I love you, we said, in truth.
Suicide sticks his finger in my beer, swirls it around, then pops it in his mouth down to the last knuckle. I motion to the tender for another and we transact without incident. ‘I fucking hate you,’ Suicide says, ‘even the worst of them are better than you by an immeasurable margin.’ I just want to drink in silence, sit in silence, live in silence. Suicide looks at the decor and snickers. ‘Drab isn’t it?’ I don’t say anything, he knows what I’m thinking. ‘Maybe on the way home I’ll push you into traffic.’ I wish he was dead.
They’re not other voices, they’re my voice. They don’t sound like me, they sound like what I sound like on the inside of my head, speaking in the narration tones I’m all twist-wired up to trust. I don’t know if other people get that, probably they do. And they say all sorts of shit that I couldn’t possibly have thought. Fathomless dark, so dark and playing constantly in surround, only wrong somehow and static in the round like radio in vacuum, too loud without sound though and it makes it hard to think. God, sometimes I just wish I could be alone. Proper alone, they way silence feels unheard. I want to sit somewhere and be empty. I can see it, myself by the beach, sat up high in the dunes with my legs folded below me and the tree line running at my back. Even the waves are reverent, their flagellations hushed into the sand and soaked up inside the earth, the waters of the world behind it backed upon the sky so too perfect shades of blue kiss out a horizon. I sit in this, amidst all this, and I am empty. Nothing touches me, not so much as air disturbs the tranquility of my skin, and I do not need it, I am sustained by my own absence. Removed, so far removed that I float. Inside and out, scaled to infinity inside existence, sealed by convergence in the void of all things, I am absorbed absolutely. The purity, such nothing. And then the sharpening of the knives, they tell me I must die. The sky withers and the waves start to squall, sand burns to glass before an ever screaming maw and the blackness widens its breach upon the distance. Consumption all consuming, they take me apart with their presence and I feel so isolated. So alone with myselves, caged in paralysis by the binding of my insides. I can’t do anything from here and though I sit with a passive face, I die inside in myriad and the screaming could be mine but it’s impossible to tell when all our voices sound the same.
Silence for days amidst the noise of the machines, bubble, drip, rattle and beep, as they orchestrate my husband’s final days. I take his hand in mine and squeeze, searching for life under the callouses and indifference. It all feels so familiar. There’s nothing left but cold comforts offered in consolation and intravenous platitudes. Thirty years of stone crumbling beneath starched white sheets, while I wait for the dead to die. It isn’t right. So many accidents never happen, he would have understood. I can’t be alone any more. Silence for days and then he calls out her name.
Inspired by the story An Accident by mridula