Here’s my take on “silence.” This piece was inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge. I’ve wanted to write this experience for a long while, but didn’t have the right form for it. This challenge, gladly, has given me the frame I needed for my silence.
It is a Tuesday and I’ve just finished my Process class. I sit outside the library on an old, wooden bench, waiting for my friend as restless, groggy university students stream by me. Some stop, looking up at the peeling yellow walls, some make a quick right to the Tim Hortons, while others artistically swim through idle students, running to classes they’re already late for or buses they’ve already missed. In this familiar chaos I see my TA and wave. She smiles back as she hurriedly walks on.
I turn away from my class and see my friend approaching. I get up, collect my books, and we walk towards the food court.
“Yo I am so hungry!” Books cascade to the floor as she drops her bags in front of a BMO. “I need to take out some money. Is that okay?” She shuffles forward without waiting for a reply.
“Why wouldn’t it be? You don’t need my permission to take out food. I mean money.” I follow her in the line, laughing quietly to myself, not wanting to sit on the bench again. “How was class?”
“Lord, lord. Hell if I know what that man was talking about. I hope class gets cancelled next week.” She slides her card into the ATM.
“I feel you man. This class is pointless. It was $2000. For what, I don’t know. The lectures could be taught by an undergrad. I don’t know what I’m going to do for the exam. This course has no structure, all she does is ramble on for an hour and let us go an hour early. I mean, I would like to leave an hour early if I actually felt like I was getting something out of this course. Honestly, if you were there—”
“Isn’t that your TA?” She asks, nonchalantly cutting me off with her hand at the money dispenser.
I jerk my head and look. I see a women with cropped blonde hair, brown rimmed glasses, green turtleneck and black slacks. She sees me staring and waves before she leaves the building with another woman. “Yup, that’s my TA.” I smile at myself and help my friend carry some books.
“That man-woman.” She forces out a laugh. It wasn’t a question.
I frown. “She isn’t a man-woman, she’s just gay.”
“Come on, who is she kidding. She’s a man. Where do you want to eat. Knowing you we’re going to walk around this building for two hours and end up eating nothing.” She opens the door for me and we walk towards the student centre.
I try to answer, but I’ve lost my hunger. Despite how much I try, my appetite won’t be revived, won’t be goaded, and won’t be stirred – like the words I let go, unformed and forgotten.
Here’s 99 other thoughts on silence. Check them out and let me, as well as these creative bloggers, know what you think.