The Theory of Silence
She fears the Silence—that wordless, noiseless moment between herself and others. It is a period when they begin to asses her with their beady black eyes, forming judgments, and leaving her in a nervous flutter. Cold sweat moistens her temple. Her fingers feel like icicles hanging from her palm. She taps her feet anxiously against the floor, rummaging her mind for something, anything, to say. She needs to make noise, any kind of noise, to ward away this silence. For example: when only one word is needed, she will say ten; when only a smile is needed, she will break out into hysterical laughter. It is her method of distraction. She is afraid that others might look past the laughter and words, past the distraction, and for once, notice her—and see that she isn’t much after all. And she, herself, is afraid that this silence will press its cold hand onto her skull and push her gaze down to see herself. Always a heinous sight it will be, all bruised and cut, torn where once stitches had been. And she will grieve for this neglected part of hers, so ugly compared to others—or so she thinks. But not for long; the sight of it is too much. And so she will look up again—to force out laughter and talk, to forget. Anything—anything to distract—anything not to think—anything not to see.