#1628

[ The video opens on a well-dressed Tanim slumped in a computer chair, a tumbler of whiskey held loosely in one hand and a half-burned cigarette sitting on an ashtray on the desk in front of him. His chin rests in his other hand, elbow propped up on the arm of the chair. The room behind him is opulently bland with undecorated walls and dark wood furniture. ]

TANIM:

This is a waste of time. God, I’m pathetic. (lifts head to look at camera) Really? I’m so lonely I’m trying to take comfort from the impossible chance that someone somewhere might someday watch this video? (shakes head and looks away again) Fuck.

(is silent for a moment, then resumes speaking in a softer tone)

It’s just… it’s weird, you know, realizing you haven’t spoken out loud in hours or days. (glances back to camera, smiling wryly) It’s not like the men I meet are exactly the chatty type, or like we’re doing the kind of things that encourage small talk. Everything you need to communicate can be done so through eye contact or gestures or physical force. Words are meaningless. (grimaces) Unwanted, really.

(sipping his drink, he stares at the cigarette but doesn’t touch it)

It’s enough to make you go crazy after a while. You feel like you’re mute; you forget you even have a voice. (looks to camera) Are you still human if you don’t have a voice? If you don’t use language? (snorts bitterly) I don’t feel human. I just feel like a beast.

(another pause, another sip, eyes on the half empty glass)

I don’t know what I expected. I guess I didn’t think it would be this hard. I spent so much of my life parroting words I didn’t give a shit about, I thought the freedom to be silent would be a relief. (flashes camera a sad smile) And it was, for a while. For years. But now it’s silence that’s starting to feel like a cage, not speech. (laughs and shakes head) I think if Death Himself showed up here, I’d pour Him a drink and ask if He didn’t mind sitting and talking a while before we left. (shrugs and sloshes the liquid around in his glass) I don’t know. Maybe I should get a cat or something. Something demanding and aloof to pour all my useless affection into.

(throws back the last of his drink and scowls at the camera)

Right. Fuck. Whatever.

[ Tanim rises wearily to his feet, grinds the cigarette into the ashtray, and shuts off the webcam. ]

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2 thoughts on “#1628

  1. “I thought the freedom to be silent would be a relief. And it was, for a while. For years. But now it’s silence that’s starting to feel like a cage, not speech.” Love those lines and the lines about the cat too. Good story. Good stuff.

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