A One-Sided Dialogue

January 23, 2018

 

It’ll be OK. I kept thinking to myself, as if the thought alone would make it possible.

 

“It will be OK”. For the briefest of moments, I believed that saying the words aloud would give them some permanence. I was wrong. My comment was met with no reply; the words hung hollow in the air and the silence that followed was more deafening than before.

 

A passing plane caught my attention, casting my gaze to the outside. The grass a verdant green, the sky a clear cornflower blue: a fine Spring day. The warm sun beckoned me outside, yet I remained unmoving, standing on the cool tiles outside the patch of sunlight streaming through the window. A shiver went up my spine; it was five degrees cooler in the shade.

 

Turning my attention back to the matter at hand, I faced my silent partner; ever cold and quiet, never providing me with any answers to my burning questions. And now I was burning: warmth flooding to my cheeks, red-hot lava flowing through my veins. Anger ripped through me, I felt my muscles tense and clenched my jaw, trying to stop the words from escaping from my lips. It didn’t work.

 

“Why won’t you answer me?! Why are you like this?! Say something, anything! You’re not even trying, are you?! Answer me!”

 

My cries penetrated the silence, echoing off the walls. The questions I had been keeping bottled inside me tumbled out of my mouth at such speed that they became almost incomprehensible. There was no stopping now, I was in the grip of Anxiety’s strong claws: emotion ruled me.

 

What’s wrong?! Tell me what’s wrong!” I choked the words out, my face wet with warm tears. Spluttering and hiccoughing, I finally regained control of myself after what seemed to be an eternity. I wiped my eyes with my fists, achieving nothing aside from spreading the tears across the entirety of my face. My questions met with no answers.

 

From outside, another plane flew overhead. Closing my eyes, I waited until its low drone faded into the distance and disappeared before opening them again.

I let out a shuddering sigh, it was not as if I had expected an answer; I had never received one before. Gazing into the defiant eyes of my adversary, I raised my hand, reaching out to touch the cold surface before me.

 

The mirror reflected my image back at me: red-rimmed eyes still glistening with tears, flushed cheeks, lifeless dark hair. Exhaled breath fogged and blurred my image before me, turning into a mass of dark shapes alien to me. I loosened my white knuckles, gripping the edges of the sink, pushing back from it until I hit the wall behind me where I slid down to the ground. Although the mirror-stranger was now out of sight, its presence lingered.

 

“Why won’t you ever tell me what’s wrong with me?”

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We acknowledge the past, present and emerging traditional owners of the land on which we live and work, the Wadjuk people of the Noongar nation, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

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