Don't Speak

Silence as Waiting

Musical wallpaper. Proof no one’s hung up. Something that simultaneously drives you insane and keeps you this side of sanity. A song without beginning or end. Proof of eternity. Piano. Wind chimes. Flutes. The peaceful instruments. Endless melody. Repetition. Synths. Smooth jazz. Something reminiscent of elevators. Measures and measures. Perfect loops. Codas. No clear structure, just an overlapping pattern. Something to encourage time passing. Ensure you don’t yell at the person that picks up. Eventually. Unrecognizable, unbranded, unattributable music. By no one. Without a title. Or a time stamp. It just goes on and on and on. Like rainstorms. Or parades. Passing and passing until suddenly gone. Detaching your sense of how long you’ve been here. Undoing your adherence to hours in the day and other things that need to get done. Or stoking your frustrations. Breeding a deep hatred for this icicle-melting-sounding dreamscape with woodwinds that is keeping you from speaking to someone. A representative. This instrumental version of nothing. This non-conversation. This opposite of a person. A trained professional. Somebody. This river of notes no one asked for. Climbing to nowhere. Meandering and never flourishing. That sounds almost like something you’ve heard before, but surely they wouldn’t have the copyright. If they had that kind of money, surely somebody would answer. It’s just a familiar gesture. The same first few chords. Something influenced by popular songs, broader movements, entire eras. Both off-putting and inoffensive. Deescalating. Nothing you’ll remember tomorrow. Nothing you could hum or tap your foot to. It is something that purposefully falls out of your ears. Yet threatens when you still have the receiver, the microphone pressed to your ear to never leave you. To keep you prisoner here forever. One with that monotonous march of keyboards and piano patches. Occasional cymbal. Bass. 80s influence out of nowhere. Impossible to write lyrics to. To place in another setting. Not built for the radio, the concert hall, the bar on Live Music Thursdays. Not even the dentist’s office. Utterly unnoticeable. And yet deafening. There’s an earworm quality. A worry this will stick in your head. This will soundtrack everything you ever do from this moment forward. At least it’s upbeat. Or is it? At least it’s not depressive in a decipherable way. It’s middle of the road, middle of everything. Unharmonic with anything. Unaccompanied. A solo movement. It all one song. Or several stitched together. A seamless thing. You barely noticed the subtle tonal shifts. How long has it been? This is taking… how would you know? How do you measure time without measures? You listen. You think. This is a wash cycle, a circle, proof of perpetual motion. You wonder, is this what the astronauts listened to on the way to the moon? How many people are stuck on the line along with you? Will archeologists discover your body, like the bog men or the residents below Mount Vesuvius, with your hand held to your ear and lay you in a museum labeled as the mysterious ‘lady in waiting?’ Will they wonder what you could hear? Was it important? You wonder whether they take requests? And if they did, what would you rather?