An End to the Silence

Time escapes me. I’ve started about half a dozen posts since my last one (please don’t make me admit how long it’s been–quite sadly, I’d be too ashamed to look myself), but I’ve finished none of them. I’ve had weekend events, weekday events, homework to keep up with–and every time the outlook looks good, my teachers announce a test and the cycle begins again.

I strongly wanted to write a post about the Day of Silence, which was Friday the fifteenth. Our GSA got t-shirts to wear, and I didn’t say a word to my friends all day. (Sadly my vow was broken for the period during which I was conducting interviews for the new student ambassadors, but otherwise, I was remarkably silent all day.) And I think I touched a few people. I think I spread my message to a few people that just didn’t know of it beforehand. And it was progress. A first step of a greater change that could come.

But of course, with more tests and more homework than I’ve ever had to fathom before, time ran away with the spoon and the stopwatch leapt over the moon.

I miss writing. And I miss being here, at my blog. It is something of another home for me, however strange that sounds. Yet, at this point, right before finals and the end of the semester, I almost feel like it’s too much to come back to. I probably won’t post again for a few weeks, but I can’t just leave this silence as it is. It must be explained. If possible, justified.

What little time I’ve had lately I’ve gladly given to the man of my life. He makes me happier (and if I think of losing him, sadder) than I’ve ever been before. His smile is engraved in my eyes, his voice recorded in my heart. He’s amazing in every way, in every shape, in every possible manner imaginable.

I’d gladly spend eternity in silence if it meant an eternity with him.

But even that silence would be detrimental. Perhaps, someday, when I’ve got a little more time, I’ll address it more deeply. Today I’ve merely got to remind myself I’m still committed to this. I merely have to let you all know that I’ve not forgotten.

And maybe I need to ask a bit of forgiveness as well. I have let you all down as readers. I have let you all down as my dedicated audience. I need to be better than that, better than this. Things have been busy this semester, busier than I’d ever thought possible, but that’s no reason to never have said anything.

Silence is never a solution.

Remarkably, I think I’ve always known this.

Let me back up a minute, though. There’s something else I’ve got to say first to reach that point soon enough. And to do that, I’ll need to speak about my boyfriend. And knowing how I feel about him, I’ll probably end up saying a lot.

So to begin, it’s hard. It’s really hard. We’ve been together–January, February, March, April–for four months now–two months since we made it official–and we’ve never touched once. Never held hands, never rested my fingers on his face, never hugged so hard I could feel his heartbeat and his pulse.

In February he visited Canada looking at universities and bought me a gift. I expected something small, and was floored when I saw the package it came in. He’d sent me a wooden figure he’d bought there, as well as a stuffed moose for my niece. I asked my sister if she’d mind if I kept it (my niece rarely plays with the stuffed animals she already has) and then asked him if he’d be alright with it. He was, and she was, so it was mine. When I got a new bedside lamp (to replace the one that was merely decorative for the past year and a half), I hung the wooden figure on the wall beside it and placed the moose around the lamp, to be the first thing I’d see upon waking.

Upon waking, I’ve found, I see my clock first. And since it’s usually telling me I’m late, I see nothing else. But I glance in that corner throughout the day and it makes me smile. It’s my favorite corner of the entire room.

These last couple of nights I’ve missed him terribly. I’ve just wanted to hold him, close my eyes and breathe alongside him, but the distance… It needs no saying. So I’ve taken this little stuffed moose in hand, held it tightly to my side, and shut my eyes. It’s nice to imagine the warmth of the moose is his. It’s nice to imagine someday I won’t need a proxy. It’s nice to imagine someday I’ll have the real thing.

It’s curious. When I was younger–much younger, on the scale of four or five–I’d been given a tiny pumpkin the size of my fist now and I’d fallen in love with it. I just wanted to hold it close and do everything with it. (I have no idea why, I just remember I loved it.) One night I even tried to curl up with it in bed. My mom said no and took my pumpkin away.

Later, on the time-length of a couple years, when I ended up having to go to bed in a bed twice my size (the truth: my brother and I shared a room. We misbehaved and stayed up late playing. So my mom made me go to sleep in my sister’s bed, which might have been my parent’s king since where we lived they slept on a pull-out downstairs, to keep us in bed. So then I’d fall asleep and my dad would carry me to my room before my sister’s bedtime and it’d be repeated most nights), I found myself with stuffed animals all the time. I’d pile the pillows up at the head of the bed, tuck in the sheets just right, and hide in the fort I’d made with my friends at my side. We’d go on grand adventures wherever my imagination would take me. Often this meant I’d appear as a stowaway on a pirate ship trying not to be discovered. I had odd fantasies as I child. I haven’t a clue why.

Then a few years past that, my grandparents sent us all a handful of Ty Beanie Babies. I got Doby, and Doby was my best friend for years. The little guy slept at the top of my bed for as long as I could recall (which in other words means I forget when I finally retired him; in all honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was ten or eleven before I put him up, if not even twelve) and then I placed him with my collection of other stuffed toys. A metaphorical fluffy heaven.

Then my bed was empty. Lots of lonely dreams.

What’s interesting is that stuffed animals don’t talk. (I did say this was all relevant to silence, didn’t it?) All this time, there was part of me that believed they could talk, that opened the door for me to hear what only ghosts could say. I gave them my voice because I couldn’t find it on my own. I ended my own silence by speaking through them.

I spoke through them a lot. I needed them. They helped me. And I appreciated that. (And for as much as many people might deny it, or forget about it, I’m sure we’ve all been there, with our teddy bears and blankets and immaterial imaginary friends that we’ve turned to when we didn’t know how to turn to anyone else. We’re self-sufficient creatures of survival. We find what we need to find to survive. When all else fails, we turn to imaginary philosophies. But however these manifest, these manifestations come from us, and they are created by us, and they each are our own voices talking from inside us and more importantly talking to us. We give our voices to them and they give it back to us.)

Now as adults, it’s our turn to give away our voices once again, except now the ones who can’t talk aren’t stuffed animals, but people like us who haven’t found themselves, or who can’t come out and join us because their lives won’t allow it. We have to speak up. For ourselves, for others, for those who cannot. It’s too great a task to avoid. It’s too important a challenge to pass up. It’s too crucial for our futures and theirs to not start talking now.

When I hold that little moose in my arms, it lets me sleep easy. I forget for a few moments the distance between us. I forget the time separating us. All I remember is that I’m holding a piece of him, and it’s for that little piece–to make that little piece whole–that I do what I do. How will we ever share a life together if there’s no life we’d be allowed to share? The time will come when we’re ready for that step, and I want the world to be ready when we take it.

For that, this silence must end.

For that, we must all speak against it together.

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