THE SOUND OF SILENCE
(Songfic based on the Disturbed version of Simon and Garfunkel’s)
Hello, Darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
She looked at the bottom of her almost empty glass, her eyes fixed on the thin layer of liquid inside the glass container that she held between her hands, at the balcony of some unknown bar on some unknown street, as if her life depended on it.
One. Two. Three.
She held the glass tightly, wanting to feel the coldness that emanated from it. There was something about the way that that little amount of vodka swung inside the glass – which was shaky, just like her hands – that hypnotized her. And paralyzed her. And dragged her back to that hell and knocked her out again with a blow after another to her stomach and sucked all the air from her lungs and compressed her chest as a steamroller that
Four. Five. Six.
She closed her eyes and counted every breath carefully. Three seconds in, three seconds out. In and out. Easy.
Her glass was really shaking. If it had been full, the liquid would have spilled by now. But it wasn’t full, because she had already drank almost all of it. Almost.
Maybe that was the problem. The lack of alcohol, the lack of liquid, the lack of content. Every container must have a content, that’s why they are made. A glass, a bottle, a jar. They need to be filled with something, otherwise their existence becomes a joke, just some piece of decoration.
The waiter finally looked at her and, understanding the motion with her head, he filled her glass again. She didn’t trust her voice at the moment. She didn’t have that much of control to be able to express in words the overflow of thoughts that went through her head.
Words that formed a constant flow in her brain, just like the vodka coming out of the bottle and going into her glass, that wasn’t half empty anymore. But soon it would be.
At the moment, it was full. Full was good. Full meant forgetting.
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen.
She wasn’t there; she was at a bar.
Until it was half empty again.
Don’t go back there!
Tynine. Thirty. Thirty one..
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains within the sound of silence
She should call Will. He was certainly waiting for her. He would have put Henry to sleep some time ago and he would have been watching football, while he waited for his wife to come home from work. But she wasn’t going home, she was sitting at a bar in some place that she didn’t even know where it was.
Will could wait.
And her glass was empty.
And she couldn’t go back there again.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
She couldn’t sleep. For the past three days, she had only one hour of sleep; maybe two. For the last week, about seven hours. But that was because one day she couldn’t take it anymore and she took some pills. A terrible mistake.
The only thing the pills accomplished was prevent her from waking up when the nightmares became unbearable. She was a prisoner in her own mind for hours and when she finally woke up, she was more exhausted than when she went to sleep. No, no more pills.
They took away her control. The little control she had…
Because now, she wasn’t fully in control anymore.
She was there again.
And she was in pain.
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
Fucking. Pain. Her ribs burned. Her face stung.
Maybe I could make you another one. Maybe I could make you another one.
Maybe this time you will lose more than just a baby.
You won’t touch me.
You won’t break me.
You are already broken.
And suddenly, she was at the bar again. And the people around her were staring. She looked at her hands and understood why. Her glass was in pieces on the balcony and the smell of alcohol and blood invaded her nostrils.
“Are you okay, miss? I’m gonna call a doctor to take a look at your hand” the waiter said gently.
That pulled her out of the stupor she was in.
“No, there’s no need. I’m fine… sorry”
She grabbed some money and put it on the table, while clutching her hand on her coat.
“Sorry for the mess”
And suddenly, she couldn’t be there anymore.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs
That voices never shared
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
She couldn’t breathe. The noise was unbearable; it was like the number of people inside the bar had multiplied and she was being suffocated. She needed to be alone.
She got out of the bar and stumbled upon the sidewalk, leaning on the wall to steady herself. Then, she started walking to nowhere in particular, just feeling the cold November wind touch her face.
Feeling her phone vibrate in her pocket, she picked it up but didn’t answer it. It was Will. She had another 10 missed calls from him, but she couldn’t answer him, not right now. She couldn’t deal with the worry on his face, neither with the guilt in her heart; she couldn’t deal with the hollow conversations in which he would talk and beg for her to do the same, while his words never really reached her ears. Until she would finally say something, anything. She would say whatever he wanted to hear and they would talk, although they wouldn’t speak; not truly.
And they both knew that.
But neither had the strength to do anything about it.
And the silence would remain.
No, she couldn’t deal with this.
Fools, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
She walked aimlessly for what seemed like an eternity. The cold touched her face and invaded her nostrils, but she didn’t mind. It dulled her senses and, along with the dizziness caused by the alcohol, almost made the weight in her lungs disappear. Almost.
She sat on the sidewalk in front of a wasteland from where she could see part of the city. It was silent there. And empty.
Just like her…
Hollow. Like a shell of a person who didn’t exist anymore, but had to pretend that she was still there. She had a job. She had a family. She had to pretend.
And she was so fucking tired of pretending! She was so fucking tired of faking! It drained her and made her sad and angry at the same time because they should just know, shouldn’t they? She didn’t have to say anything, did she?
She didn’t want to tell them
She didn’t want to ask them for help
But she wanted them to know!
And she would deny it, she would say that she was just fine
(But they would know)
And she would know that they cared.
But no one ever said a word. Ever.
Not them. Not her.
And the silence kept growing and growing until it was so loud that she couldn’t breathe anymore, and it was a monster that followed her everywhere leaving a path full of nothing behind her.
And she was drowning in the nothingness.
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms and I might reach you
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
She also hadn’t answered Emily’s phone calls in a while. Emily, who had flew thousands of miles to save her. Emily, who had left everything behind when she needed her; and who would do it all again in a blink of an eye.
So why couldn’t she just tell her?
Why couldn’t she just call and ask her help and tell her that she couldn’t cope anymore and that everything seemed to be crumbling inside her and that she just wanted to sleep but then she couldn’t sleep because the nightmares were so fucking haunting and taunting? Why choose the silence?
Because you are weak
Because she will laugh at you and tell you to deal with it. They all will.
Because you are a joke. Everyone laughs at you.
Please, why can’t you stop?
She closed her eyes and shook her head.
Please, God, just make them stop!
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
And the words that it was forming
There is no God.
She could ask Spencer and with his IQ of 187 and his eidetic memory, he would tell hundreds of scientific explanations to deny God’s existence.
It could be true. Or it couldn’t; she didn’t care.
She just knew that there was no God.
But if there were and if she could speak to it, she would ask it: why?
Why give life and make us carry this burden? Why give life and put us into this world that is so… rough? So… silent?
Why make me this way? Why can’t I just be myself again? Why can’t I just breathe? Why can’t I just speak?
She couldn’t fathom an explanation for that.
Maybe she was just screwed up. Damaged goods.
First, I’m gonna take your sleep
Then, your smile
(I’m not smiling now, am I?)
I won’t let you feel safe anywhere.
So I’ll take your job.
And finally I will transform you so that your husband and your son won’t recognize you anymore.
You can’t! I won’t let you!
You already are
She opened her eyes and looked down at the city lights. She stood up and letting anger consume her, she finally shouted:
But no one heard her.
And then, it was only her and the silence again.
And the sign said the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence