There is comfort in our apparent silence


Saniya Mishra

A field of tulips bloom under the quiet sky on a small hill that imagined while writing this column.

For some inexplicable reason, the music of our friendship is a bland monotone bleeding of silence to the surrounding, ever-crescendoing crash of sounds.

We sit upon the bare afternoon as the hours roll away. They slip through the cracks between the sparse words that litter our vacant minds. Behind closed eyes and closed lips, your thoughts whisper a stupid joke to me, and I let a smile run across my face for a few breaths before replying with something else to continue our quiet conversation.

The silence warms us, a blanket I tuck around my feet so I don’t shiver as much in the frigid expanse. The cacophony beyond the small confines of our sweet companionship threatens to rupture the serenity with ceaseless reminders of the silence that supposedly plagues our conversations.

Maybe you could fill the pauses with the melodic trills from your wooden box and lull our conversations to imaginative dreamlands far beyond what we’ve ever touched upon. No words need be exchanged as you race to catch the next notes, cascading sharply against the barren grass that decorates our little spot on the hill.

Play me something somber. Make restless tears run from our eyes, and tell me of the ails of your day. Play me something light. Dry our sorrows in double time and find the key so we can start anew in our latest embarkments.

Our words dance inside our heads, waltzing in companionship, without need for more.

Or, maybe, don’t play at all. There isn’t a tangible need for us to fall under the command of their frivolous criticism. We ought to remain in this lovely silence, just your breaths and mine. They collide and collapse in the cold that surrounds us as we hold warmth in each other’s company.

I begin to hear music of our own, spilling profusely from our eager imaginations and skipping across the fields before us. It sounds like life, complete with the melodies of nature and the humming of the lazy wind, revolving in slow circles around us, but too slow for any storm to arise. Instead, peace is omnipresent.

Our words dance inside our heads, waltzing in companionship, without need for more. It is in this understanding that what we hold in seemingly empty hands is far more filling than the degrading expanse beyond our shared presence.

It is here, in this quiet comfort, this easy relief, this open exchange, this seemingly little spot on the hill, that the vastness of our companionship blossoms.