If you hush real quiet and you listen real slow, you’ll find there’s a sense of rhythm to the world. It’s there in the trees, in the ocean, in the sky on your sad October day, and it beats in time with the music of motion. Motion, motion, motion: tick, tock, tick. Have you ever heard that song in the middle of the night, well on your way to sleep amidst the faeries and daemons of your childhood past?

Listen to the silence. Listen, listen, listen. It has lots to tell you and you have lots to hear.

How often do you lie? Every day, every hour, every second? How big do you lie? How far and how wide?

To whom do you lie? (With whom do you lie, alone and well on your way?) About what do you lie?

There is no such thing as nothing. “It’s the silence between the notes that makes the music.”

How often do you try?

Do you try to try? Do you try to try to try? How many tries does it take to tell the truth?

Slip between the silences between the notes between the music between the minutes between the days between the years of a life. Slip between the sounds and thoughts and words and bright-blue blouses and secret kisses and work out sneakers and slow claps and bicycle clicks. Slip between the stacks of unread books and twice-worn clothes across your bedroom floor. Slip between the woven fingers of crying friends and secret lovers. Slip into the stutter between what you should and shouldn’t say. Slip between the up and down and in and out of where you are and aren’t. Slip between, and you will find me.

Where am I? Who am I? What am I?

Sound is the forest of the war between us. Read me out; read me in. Read to me.

To whom did you last read? When and how and what? Describe it; describe the feeling; tell me.

Of what were you last scared? with the fear of the chase — the fear of being followed. Was it night? Was it on the street? Did you turn and turn and turn and find no way out?

Describe him. Describe the wispy blonde hair on his etched face, with gross, brown creases dragged through his visage. Describe the slopping nose and ears. Describe the way his varicose limbs and beady eyes chased you — hunting. Describe his stained teeth and droopy smile — full-faced and fleshy. Describe the screech of brakes and the sound of silence. Describe the clunk and clap and humph and scream, the pitter-patter of the drips and the stomping of your furious clip. Describe it.

Describe the way she touched you and the way it felt. Did you know her? Did she know you? Describe that night after the disco, when the strobes had dimmed and the sound had gone and it was just you two in that beat up car with lights on the dash and lights in the sky. Describe the view; describe the city; describe her. Was this your first? Describe the sounds of nothing but her and you and the novelty of the night; describe the stereotype; describe her. Describe the jump and thrill. Describe the shush and hiss and gasp. Don’t rush. Describe the music — did you really think this far? Describe her. Describe congruence, contour, contact: fit. Describe your yin and her yang. Describe them.

There is not much time now. Describe the pressure; how did that feel? Describe the lies; why won’t you tell me? Describe the pressure; sweetheart. Describe the lies; it’s not you.

Describe the pressure. It’s nighttime. The pressure. You’re on your phone again, isn’t it late? The pressure. She’s asleep. The pressure. You’re awake. The pressure. You’re awake. The pressure. Why won’t you sleep? The pressure. You’re awake.

Describe the mountains to me. Describe the wind and mist as you’re there, all alone. The only ones who care think you’re home in bed, asleep and well. How can you be sad in a world like this? (How can’t you?) It’s all in your head. (You’re right.) Just let go. (You don’t know how much I want to.)

A setting sun makes hills throw shadows. The sky is violet and red and blue in unspeakable blends; the air is afire and every cloud glows red-pink. Wafts of mist collect beyond the hills, toward the sea, toward the water. Shadows grow and we become our silhouettes. There’s a buzz on the lake. Far off, toward the north, amongst high-rise shelters of undone work and inertial progress, where the good clock out and the best clock in, where cars trickle-zip along the venous necklaces of the intra- and interstates to bring there to here and B to A, (under the hill where Mom would take you to see them — the ruby-diamond necklaces — and sometimes you’d both just sit there and watch and gape and once even cry because it was so beautiful and nobody else would get it), where murder and marriage turned from fiction to truth, where bridges filled and terrified, where underground tunnels house the less-than-lucky and the more-than-fortunate, where handcuffs and locked doors saved you from yourself, where there are girls just like you on hills just like these — far off, lights come on. Each light is the same and each light is special. It’s getting darker now. Can you see me?

Ruleta rusa. The pressure.

Describe that night on the beach. Where were you? Describe the stars; constellations and a perfect night sky. You’re so far away from anyone and everything. Describe the juicy moon and shimmering waves. Describe a blue-white.

Astros, not estrellas.

Describe it to me. No. Describe it to me. No. Describe it to me. No. Describe it to me. Okay.

Okay. Ok. O.K. But how are you?

Describe that time in her room, when the air was cool on your skins but the blanket was just too far, when October had past and the clouds choked that once-beautiful sunset to just a dull dimming. Describe the breeze, crisp, chill. Describe fucking; describe loving. Describe the whispers that passed between those two bodies — describe your secrets; describe hers. Describe the silence that said more than anything else.

Where are my glasses? Where’s my glass? It’s okay I’m fine. I’m ok. I’m O.K. But how are you?

Shhh now listen sweetheart before they have to go. The forest rings with birdsong. Shhh hear them call. Shhh. Gramps was a birder — did you know? Yeah he’d go out, Leica in hand (oh what a camera), early wee-hours of the morning, like 3-4AM we’re talking here, and he’d don that green cap and blocky vest and step into the chill — yes, the forest — and he’d be there and just listen. And then one time he'— shhh did you hear that? Triplets; it’s a mockingbird. Triplets. Did you hear that? Shhh; listen.

Describe the days you spent in the forest, ready for anything. Describe running through brambles and ferns, clipping undergrowth to make a world in your image, planning and plotting and chipping; describe the thrill of creation and the rush of destruction. Describe Juliet; her eyes. Describe her enthusiasm. Describe her vigor. Describe her vim.

Why are you running? After what are you chasing?

Describe his hands; were you asleep? Describe the stare on the street. Describe the thumping of his steps as you were chased. Why are you running, sweetheart? Come back, sweetheart. Please.

Pretty please. Prettier than you’d ever be. Take off the makeup, it’s just our first. Please. Please. Please.

Why is this so special? Every light is thoughtful and every light shows care. Every light is replaceable and every light is unique. To light is to see what you would otherwise not; to care is to feel what you would otherwise not.

You are alone but not lonely. The night is quiet and the lights are on. Hush — listen.


Now read this

Some Unsent Love Letters

I will write you two letters and send you one. The first is what you expect. It starts with a foray into my day-to-day life here, and then covers some half-baked concepts that have been bouncing around my head, and ends with a plea for... Continue →