on speaking

It’s not you and it’s not me. It’s not him and it’s not her. I think sometimes, people just speak different languages. How many different languages do we speak to each other, in public, behind closed doors, in elevators and under blankets. There are silent languages you have to learn with your eyes. Languages which can only develop with time. We have involuntary languages, involuntary conversations sometimes, the words and the non words drip from fingertips and lay inside sighs you didn’t even know you made. The way you stand up gives you away.

I spend the morning making no noises because no one wants to disturb the truth lying between us. Sometimes I read books or count the squares on the ceiling and sometimes you pretend like I’m still sleeping. But conversations are had, and terms are agreed upon, we signed on the line.

The ticket taker keeps a tally in her bedroom of how many times you ask her if she is okay, in any given evening, but the blinds on her eyes are drawn and no one has been looking in. So, you learn to speak new languages with other girls and keep the tongue loose so as not pull any muscles in the brain. And sometimes near the end of the day everyone sits in a semi-circle and speaks at the exact same time, telling everyone else, everything else they don’t want to say out loud. Problem is no one hears a thing.

I can see your hands moving and your eyes talking and your lips whispering but I haven’t a clue what is being said. I don’t know this language yet.


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