We Talk to Us

We will busy ourselves with work. We will mechanize our motion, drones to drown the drones. Threaten the thrum of thought. Yet still noise will intrude: telephones and traffic hiss; the homogenous non-language of crowds, the tempo tick of countdown clocks, silence-breaking sirens.

Other voices demand attention. From without we are besieged by bills, obligations, uncollected mail and missed messages. Everything requires response.

Inner voices swim, shark-circling in aural periphery. There but not-there, suppressed and subconscious. When night brings its curtained quiet, we can hear them murmuring as lovers in our ear. They praise or chastise; blame, bedevil, berate. They do impressions, take forms. Speak in the voices of others as we remember them to sound- our parents, priests, our teachers. They use our own voice, as we hear it – not as it is to others, but to ourselves. (Later, recordings refute us: render our own utterances unrecognizable.)

We are so used to ignoring this voice that the only time we truly hear it is when we are alone, at 3am. When the room is dead silent, and we the bodies entombed. Sleep threatens us, beckons us, but voices sleep next to us- talk softly until slurred and slowed. Complex sentences become simple.

At first we listen. But, sooner or later, together we come to coma, and meaning blurs. Fades again to whispers broken. In those broad hours where time disjoints, our sentences are senseless. Proscriptions, presented in pieces. We are provided no thread.


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