The Silence

woman alone at the edge of water

She felt unusually cut off from the rest of humankind today. Even a short trip to the grocery store, where she might trade comments with others standing in line, did nothing. She had gone too late in the evening and the aisles were quiet, the lines very short. She had bagged her own groceries without help from the register clerk, who had offered her only the mandated corporate greetings and otherwise ignored her.

Usually, she could count on at least one short conversation to remind her of her own humanity, but the exchanges she had after the market, at the drugstore, the filling station, were devoid of anything real, just the normal and deplorable small talk between strangers that left her feeling less and less tethered to the planet.

She could choose to eat out and hope the waitress was more conversational. She could choose to call friend or family member, but she suddenly lacked the energy. No doubt it was her own fault; she tended to stay much to herself, maybe too much to herself, so others tended either to avoid imposing themselves upon her, or they let her slip from their everyday minds.

The daily silence was a blessing. The silence was a curse. So it was with everything; there was no either/or, everything blended, was connected, was part of the same organism. How strange then, that one part of that interconnected life should sometimes feel so un-connected.

She returned home, returned to the silence.

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