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Silence Is Golden

Things don’t have to have context for me to enjoy. If out of the blue, someone said, you want to whine? I’ll give you something to whine about. I’d chuckle. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Gets me every time.

 This is sort of a continuation of the column I wrote a few weeks ago about how I feel like I’m in one of those movies where everything’s the same but different, too. That’s why I don’t check in with my siblings or pretty much anybody else. What’s new? Nothing. How’s everybody? You know, fine. Everybody’s good. After we agree that things suck, there’s not much else to cover.

You can’t plan or even talk about planning because everything’s on hold. This Covid stuff is paralyzing.

You know how when you’re riding in a car with someone you don’t know all that well? You’ve gotta decide if you’re gonna blabber on about something just to fill the awkward air or let them have at it. I think I wrote about the time I was riding with someone who felt compelled to read aloud every sign we passed on the highway. When we hit a stretch of highway miles with nothing but trees, she turned inside and read “Honda” off the glove compartment.

That one almost made me laugh but things were awkward enough. I was curious to see what she’d read next but I decided to be a topper and read the VIN number off the reflection of the windshield. The 17 random letters and numbers were understandably confusing to her because she couldn’t see the reflection and had no idea what I was saying.

“What?” she asked. Which really was game over. I had ignored her reading signs and let her say Exit Twenty Nine (with an emphasis on “South”) without so much as a chin or eyebrow raise. And I didn’t break when she said “Honda.” Now, here she was asking me what I was talking about. I was a conversational wizard.

I didn’t reveal my source of the 17 digit and letters code. I just said it’s hard to know if it’s a zero or the letter O. I did not make eye contact.

It got quiet again. I spent some time wondering if she was thinking I was some freak. And if she was thinking that, I was ok with it.

If she was having such thoughts, they ended when we passed a strip mall where there were all sorts of signs. The reeling off of store names was not as boring as you might think. There was an illuminated sign for Wallpaper but the bottom of one of the “Ls” was dark so she read it to be Wally Popper. (Wali Paper). My facial muscles were strained as I contained a smirk.

Most times I can live with quiet. In can be a little weird but if you sense the other person is ok with silence, zoning out is fine. There’s nothing to talk about it, so you don’t talk.

Which is why I’m not writing or talking.

 By Kevin Boyle 

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