Silence can be an enjoyable thing or it can be a marinade of lonely mixed with apathy. The first kind is found with old friends, a good book, or a hot bath. The second kind was where I lived.
This Silence wasn’t characterized just by a lack of words. It was a tangible entity enveloping all those that lived inside the house. It settled first into the rooms, making them seem hollow, then settled into the bones of the people that called that place home. Once it was there, even as an uninvited guest, it simply wasn’t willing to vacate, and Silence has a way of taking over.
Since the Silence isn’t just heard, it’s felt, those that dwell there try to fill it with other hollow things. The one that created it will try the hardest to fill it up with electronic noise, which only serves to exacerbate it instead of filling it. The others try to fill it with comforting things like playing music, baking, talking to friends on the phone, or making plans with family. All of those create temporary respite for those enveloped in the Silence.
Breaking free of the growing Silence, and it does grow, is complicated. To get out you have to find the opposite of the Silence and try to replace it with those things. Since the opposite of this kind of Silence is communication and relationship, this is a daunting task. After all, Silence gave them a beating for months, possibly years, before they left for good. Luring them back takes time and a lot of effort, and you have to pass the gatekeeper before they can get in. The gatekeeper is the one that made Communication and Relationship leave in the first place. If they can’t get past the gatekeeper, then there is only one other thing you can do.
Leaving Silence isn’t like leaving a person. If you lived with it for years, then it has a habit of hanging around until you’ve made it clear it isn’t welcome anymore. Silence is an optimist. It will think that shadows of what you were in your former life will slowly become who are you in your new life, but this does not have to be true. Now you are the gatekeeper, and you have the power to fill your new home with communication and relationship and finally be happy. And when you are alone, and you have silence, it feels just like being with old friends, reading a good book, or taking a hot bath.