Waiting for Quiet


There used to be a Quiet waiting for me.

A deep, consistent calm.

I left it sometimes, but it never left me. I would wile away the days with nonsense, but when I returned in the stillness of the rising stars, it welcomed me back. It wrapped its arms around me while we watched the stars come out, one by one, together.

Every whirling happenstance of life was merely a prelude to the next time I greeted Quiet, told it about everything and asked "What do you think it all means?"

And Quiet always knew.

It explained everything to me.

But, we've grown distant, Quiet and I. Who knows why these things happen. 

Perhaps I stayed out one too many nights, while Quiet waited up, checking the time.

And even when I returned on time, I carried the cacophony with me, the chatter of never ending noise. I was too restless. Quiet could not encompass me because I wouldn't stop moving.

Quiet would beckon me, to look in its eyes, its ponderous eyes.

"One moment" I'd say, "I need to answer this email."

So Quiet turned way from me. Even when I lie down to sleep, its back is turned to me. At least then Quiet used to visit me, at least then it would kiss my eyelids closed to sleep so that I awoke with the memory of its presence, however brief. But the flashing lights settled deep in my brain would burn its lips now. It could not touch me.

Not even its breath washes over me in sleep.

So Quiet left me.

Sometimes I still call upon it.

In the morning, on the train.

"I had a few minutes. I just wanted to say hi."

It doesn't pick up.

Or late at night when I am sad, with the kind of sad no noise can drown, no light can obscure.

But it doesn't pick up.

Not anymore.

Should I write it a letter?

But I don’t know where Quiet lives anymore. Perhaps in the mountains, close to the day blind stars.

Or perhaps in a Monastery, slipping between the hallways during vespers.

But in my heart I know: though I searched the whole world, Quiet would run away from me.

Because I carry chaos with me. Noise is my constant companion. The dim light of screens hover in my oval eyes. They’re always with me.

And Quiet is a jealous lover.

So, I will wait for quiet.

I will do nearly everything, almost anything to woo it back.

I will be faithful to it.

I'll spend my time on it.

I’ll sacrifice my phone on its altar.

I will look away from the lights and shifting shadows, into its fathomless face.

I will take it with me, everywhere—on the train, to the madness of work, even to the chaos of my worries.

I will look into its eyes in the morning, and in the evening. I will search for its gaze in the harsh daylight.

I will love it more than my own voice.

Until Quiet comes, I will keep vigil.

Each night I will wait in the dark for its cool breath and bright eyes.

In the morning I will seek nothing but Quiet.

And when the time comes, Quiet will find me waiting.


Joy Clarkson7 Comments