The glimmer and shimmer of radio silence


There’s something inexplicable about the serpentine nature of what happens behind closed doors. It’s the complex nature of the reverberating radio silence that echoes over the silent sound of tears—the tears that won’t come, that will never come—that is so confounding. A set of fully-functioning ears should be able to hear anything, yet these ears are filled with that dreary, dreaded radio silence.

Radio silence. 

It’s not the wavelength that is off. The antenna isn’t skewed. Each station has been cycled through countless times. No matter what changes, no matter who is the control group, it’s unabashedly evident—and terrifyingly obvious—that this beat-up radio is broken in all the ways it thought it was beautiful.

It’s the radio. But, it’s also who touched the radio. It was the surroundings of the radio at any given moment. It’s the radio taking out its own batteries or dismounting from the plug on the wall—never expecting to be fixed yet somehow always knowing it will be. 

It’s the poor, poor, broken, beat-up radio. That mangled, manilla echelon from which the radio always felt on the precipice of—the precipice that it sometimes, most times, fell off of—was the problem. Yet, the radio was always picked back up; that’s a consequence as much as it is a resolution. 

There’s a stranger reason to do a strange task such as continuously plugging in a radio which so dishonorably reached the point of no return. That reason is hope.

There’s a strange hope that everything, no matter how unstately its condition may be, can be fixed. There’s a strange hope that what made that radio broken was what made it beautiful. There’s a strange hope that one belief is two secrets. There’s a strange hope, but sometimes, hope is a good enough reason to accept the eccentricity of the situation.

That hope made its way inside the radio. What was inside the radio? No one ever bothered to find out. The hope didn’t open the radio—even though it might take credit for doing so. The radio opened itself up the same way it would shatter the fragile relationship it held with the outlet: with no one’s help. And so, the radio was open. All was on display.

The thing that was wrong was that there was nothing wrong. The radio simply just emitted radio silence. That radio silence would stay the same no matter how hopeful, no matter how mangled and manilla, and no matter how many times it was replaced. 

The radio silence stayed the same because that sound was intrinsic to the radio, and each radio silence sounds different if you listen closely enough. If you do listen, you’ll hear just the faintest shimmer of hope: a hope that is a reason that is one belief that is two secrets.