The silence always unnerves me.

I feel like I always have to have some… thing, going on.

Some music playing, some voices talking.

Some distraction from being alone with my own thoughts.

Because the silence is never silent.

The reason I rarely smoke marijuana anymore is because it just makes the noise in my head louder.  My thoughts run rampant from a million directions at once.

But that’s what it’s always like in my head more or less.

I think I’m afraid that if there’s no music on, maybe the thoughts’ll get so loud that the neighbors’ll hear ‘em.

Even when it’s quiet, it’s never silent.

The outside world leaks in.  The noise on the street.

A car honking, a machine whirring.  Indistinct voices speaking in a rapid fire patter.  A cadence you can tell as not English even though you can’t hear the words.

Those even can be distraction enough.

I’m afraid to be still.

My day is full of distractions.

From the moment I wake up, I’m trying to do anything but listen to my own thoughts.

I can’t nap during the day, and if I wake up for any reason, no matter how little sleep I’ve had, I’m up for good.  Once the fog clears, my brain starts to whirring.  All of the thoughts chased away by sleep’s sweet fog come crashing in on me.

The silence means I can hear them.

Even these words are distraction.  I start typing because a thought hits me and I can’t ignore it.  But then the words themselves fill my head.

I struggle to maintain honesty and not get caught up in the cadence and the details.

All I ever want to do is tell the truth.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.

But not truth as in 1 plus 1 equals 2.  Or I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.

The truth of a story.  Of poetry.

The truth that rings in your heart.  A little bell that sounds, “I know that…”

I want to get up onstage and open my mouth because that’s the only place the thoughts leak out.

The floodgates open up and all those thoughts come pouring out.

And my head quiets down.

When I’m in front of a crowd is the only time I am alone and it’s silent.



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August 2011
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