Stream-of-consciousness post (ha-ha, pun intended).
I am your captive audience. Sit down, talk to me, and I will make eye contact with you and put each of your words in my mouth and swish it around. After a couple seconds, I will finish processing it and tell you how it tastes — but only if you ask for my feedback. Otherwise, it will reside in the void of my brain.
People often tell me I’m a good listener. I imagine it’s not just because I sit there and nod like a bobble-head. Sure, that’s a contributing factor. But I understand that each person has a struggle that they are trying to communicate. Each sentence spoken is this person trying to cause stress on the universe, trying to get what they want. And I, in my solicitousness, am the first step to the universe obliging you.
The slight pauses, head tilts, and eye squinting are a story I read and memorize.
But, there’s something you should know about me. Please do not mistake my silence for powerlessness — because underneath my reflective surface are kelp, waving in a rhythm only I can establish; fish lurking, fleeting back and forth like synapses; and sand forever shifting, a restless foundation. My storm inside reflects the storm on your face, on your body, in your words. But I will remain still for you.
My silence is my authenticity. I am not going to tell you everything’s going to be okay, or ask if you’ve been enjoying this lovely weather we’ve been having. That is not what I wonder about you, and that is not what people who say these things wonder about you.
I wonder about you in intimate and devastating ways, like the blind silence of your mother’s belly as you were growing inside her.
I will be here for you, in the quietest of ways; to understand everything you are saying and give you a temporary home in my eyes, in my nods, in my smiles, during our time together.
All the deities in this world know I do not have the brain power or energy to do and remember everything.
If I give you my time, you are special to me. If I remember many things about you, you have been in my head every day for years.
It is such a wondrous thing, to sit in that little nook between two consciousnesses—yours and mine—and just let things be.