There’s a silence that’s almost deafening.
The kind where, at a party, the music stops and everyone looks up and says to no one, “Hey, what happened?”
The kind that the body shutters from its piercing.
I was turning 16. I wanted a big party; bodyguards, a live band, DJ, pay at the door, the whole shebang. I worked hard; I got my artistic sister to create the flyer, gave them out at my and my brother’s schools. A week before, everyone was talking about it, the word spread quick. The band was known enough to build a crowd, I was in love with the drummer who should’ve been the lead singer he was that eccentric.
I rented a trophy room off a big sports facility, facing a big oval where my brother’s school played footy. The party drew a huge crowd, a long line waited around the bend even until 11pm, an hour before close. I was shocked. I barely knew anyone, and when I did, they were intoxicated and in the throes of what it took to be a teenager at a party in the 90s.
Flash forward to afterward. Mum, bro and sis, and my best friends, with black trash bags and rubber gloves, helped me clean up the evidence. Well, enough to get our safety deposit back.
I must’ve sat down somewhere, took it all in. I hope I did. I’m hoping I popped a squat facing the oval of lush greenery and tsunamic eucalyptus trees. Muscles spent and feet regaining circulation from improper use of heels. A mix of pride and exhaustion. A mix of elation and isolation.
And then silence.
How it sucks the air thin.
Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss. 🙂
It’s the closest thing I’ve felt to death.
5 days of labor and pushing and pain and sweat and utter exhaustion.
Hours of almost readiness, a champ in the ring, waiting for her trophy.
And he arrives, at a perfect Godly time with absolute intention.
He comes uncracked, unwrinkled; life hasn’t stamped her good ol’ reality check on his skin. Not yet.
Why do we cry? How does it crack our hearts wide open?
We’ve all traveled this channel too. We have got to be as perfect, as divine, as uncracked?
Somewhere underneath. Right?
Clouds hiding the sun, type of shit. Right?
A son. A nephew. A gift.
Every day has its dawn,
Its soft and silent eve,
Its noontide hours of bliss and bale; —
Why should we grieve?
Why do we heap huge mounds of years
Before us and behind,
And scorn the little days that pass
Like angels on the wind?
Each, turning round a small, sweet face
As beautiful as near,
Because it is so small a face
We will not see it clear.
We will not clasp it as it flies,
And kiss its lips and brow:
We will not bathe our wearied souls
In its delicious Now.
And so it turns from us, and goes
Away in sad disdain;
Though we could give our lives for it,
It never comes again.
Yet, every day has its dawn,
It’s noontide and its eve:
Live while we live, giving God thanks—
He will not let us grieve.