You Don’t Say?

The kid hadn’t spoken in a long while. That’s not minutes you understand, we’re talking years here. Used to be he’d chatter away with barely a break for breath. Word vomit, folk call it. Those around him didn’t mind it for a time, but their nods and smiles eventually faded, irritation bubbling behind their eyes. Occasionally irritation boiled over into shut-the-fuck-up and the kid would pass nights stewing in prickly silence. Not that any of these were bad folk, mind. They were good people all, but good people have their limits. Hell, even Jesus flipped tables when he was pissed off.

It got so kid’s thin whine was bricked up inside his own skull. Aimless, lazy thoughts would loll and lurch, twisting around and through one another. Jagged streaks of half-formed ideas would collide with the slightest distraction, splintering and embedding themselves in the bone. It was a real tangle in those early days, the kid’s head. Mad cats walked across the keyboards in there and he’d struggle to make sense of the crazy they’d throw up.

Things wound down some, after a time. The kid managed to get so he could keep an idea still, could grip a concept, hold it steady and use it to chisel bigger things out of the walls. He started thinking about how he got this way, why he stayed this way. After all, he wasn’t gagged, he was behind no bars. Reaching back into the low corners of his mind, he couldn’t get hold of any specific person or event to blame. The past was all knotted with embarrassment and guilt. Shit smeared memories, detail smudged out. So the kid got to carving out a new idea; maybe he was down a hole he’d dug himself. Why not try to climb out?

The kid’s atrophied vocal cords contract. Dry tissue cracks and flakes away. Sand-blast coughs bend the kid double, the spasming bellows of his chest throwing out the dust and the cobwebs and the dead flies. The kid straightens up, takes one deep breath. And listens as his low groans explore the spaces outside his head.

Blind

Fills me with amazement, the way some of a-one’s parts can take up the slack in a pinch. By way of a for-instance, one can reckon the distance and texture of a thing by the nature of echo it’ll give in reply to a click of the tongue. Folk can navigate a space just clicking away and listening, sight be damned. While gone by, I’d not have put much credence in a thing such as that but since giving up my own peepers I’ve come to pick up the knack all the same.

It’s idleness on your ear’s part I’ll wager prevents folk from taking advantage of that singular talent. It’s as if those peepers got the loudest voice in your head, shouting over the fingers, the tongue and the rest. That noggin takes so much stock in what those peepers got to report, it don’t often pay a-much of itself to them other God-given mechanisms we’ve all of us got. That array of fleshy devices, given us each in order to absorb another facet of creation. These others, feeling secondary, tend to hang back a-ways and let the pictorial, the visual, take the lead. Demure is what they do, only throwing up a mite of detail here and there, should they feel it necessary. Less that is, they figure a thing to be of pressing urgency or irritation, then they’ll pipe up to make themselves heard right quick.
Mightn’t be idleness, now I lay it out for myself. Could be nearer neglect. Shirked so regular as they are in favour of pretty pictures.

I find I think myself in circles when ruminating on a notion and I got plenty to think on, tell it true. Getting a hold on the real shape of things as I did, late in a lonely life. I’m still teasing some things out for myself currently. Once I got that illuminated spark in my noggin, all multitude and manner of things awoke in there, same as they wake for all of us. In those early days, starting on the way, I found I could see easily from the vantage of another. It came that I got to talking other folk through their own confusions. I’d craft ideas so as to make ’em more easily digestible, take a notion and turn it this way and that, showin’ folk the nooks and crannies, the flip-side and the under-side, cutting away the assumption and misconception as I’d go. Just as I do so with myself and as you’re hearing now.

They were mighty impressed with me in them early days. Real shinin’ star I was. Some folk, ones inclined to puzzle such a thing out, would quiz me in order to deduce the root of my talent. They’d ask me on my youth and, having heard the circumstance of my girlhood, would credit that knack for explanation to my activist adolescence. Can’t say I much like to dwell on them times nowadays. Tell it true, I got sad-sick after all that youthful fire got spent in service of nothing. World’s much the same now as it ever was, you’ll have noted that for yourself too, I’ll wager. Or you will, granted world enough and time. I turned away from folk for quite a while after my younger days, went hermit you might could say. It was many a year before I come across any notions I’d judge worth sharing. Thinkin’ on it now, I suppose there might could be some small comfort in that thought. All that painful struggle kicking up something of worth, beaten up out of that futile dust and it getting put to some use before the end.