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Sometimes, when the rain falls softly on crisp grass, and through that wet mist shines our bright star; and in its light, through billions of drops, refracts a is days like these that I think of her.

Have you ever seen a person so wonderful, that all things stopped? No more cars, no more city, just her. The raindrops slowed, and then hung in mid-air, like crystals suspended by magic wires. This isn't fantasy, all things told here are very real.

I can still see her, standing there amid that sea of floating glass. I can still hear her laugh, but only silence. She once told me she could see ghosts. I never doubted her.

Is silence not loud? Does it not beat into deaf ears like a drum? To hear what I hear would pray you to listen.

I walked slowly across a vacont lot which was once a church, which was once a park, which was once a field. I made my way across paved streets littered with yesterdays news and broken glass. Through brass gates gaurded by stone lions- their pride eroded with years of polluted air and rain-I moved, gently now, there are those who sleep, or at least those who would like to.

Here? Yes, I come here often, and I sit and I listen. I listen to people whose names have little meaning now. This is a quiet one whose inhabitants never speak, yet, I listen. Some are angry, some lonely and miss family and friends who rarely visit, but most are content to their rest. It is much to hear, but the only words are those spoken by visitors, and often it is for their own good rather than for others to hear.

I walked across wet grass, and listened as I made my way, trying not to but catching a name or two as I moved. This day I wasn't there to pass across, listening to what I can, and be swallowed by the dozens of lives and feelings and stories I heard in the silence. Days like these, days of sun and rain, are for individuals.

Next to one there is a small bench fashioned from stone. I moved, and I sat, and I shut my eyes. Sitting still, it is easy to focus; to block out the sounds and emotions you don't want, and focus on the ones you do.

Slowly, the silence emptied out and became the void it was meant to be, then, a warmth rose out of emptiness, and colored my mind. the silence pulsed, and moved as the noise behind it quaked. It isn't so much hearing as it is understanding. To understand pain, to understand longing, to understand death, to understand love, to understand loss and loneliness. Perhaps, that is what all here have in common, and I with them.

Most tales here are sad ones, tragic ones. Maybe, that's why most people who come don't listen. They don't want reminders of the pain they have; the living must keep living, while the dead have nothing but the past. That's why those who do come here talk. It keeps their mind busy and free of silence, to keep the air from moving still. They talk to free their hearts of its burdens, to embrace absolution, to move on. Their visits become less and less frequent, and then they stop coming at all.

Then, when teenagers come on warm summer nights, they are loud and drunk. Not loud because it is hared to hear, but to block out the silence, to keep that empty noise that fills them with the understanding that they are not alone. That fear.

I come here not to talk, but to listen, and to understand. Maybe...maybe, I do it because nobody else wants to. Maybe, I do it because someone needs to.

I sat, and I listened, and I knew it was a woman who I heard. A mother, who greatly misses her young daughter; who would give anything to see her and tell her she's sorry that she had to leave. A mother who would give up everything to hold her little girl in her arms one last time and tell her everything was okay, that everything was going to be fine now. A mother who loved, and was loved deeply.

More and more poured forth, so I sat and listened. God, I listened.

I must have sat there for half an hour, because when I opened my eyes(now wet with tears) the sun was setting. My stomach clenched with the onset of hunger. I wiped the water from my face, and looked down at the mother's name. It was the beautiful name of a beautiful woman who was robbed of her time here. In the end, it's never fair. When that bell tolls and our candle burns out, we enter thaqt space behind the world; that place that translates as silence and air.

She didn't deserve this, I thought. None of us do. I stood, my leg partially asleep, and made my way among the many names on the grass. I never liked the idea of walking on people, even when I know they no longer lay in the ground which holds them.

Beneath my feet wet grass crunched, and on my soaked cheeks the light mist continued its dance. I walked, not across grass, but amiss a sea of silence, inside a sea of empty noise. Men, women, children...dear God, children. when I reached the brass gates and the corroded lions, my mind is drunk with emotion, tears once again ran their course, and as I stared into the sunset, I carefully pulled a small bottle of whiskey from my jacket. I took a few somber steps to the right and gazed up at empty limestone pits which stood for eyes. My hand, once young, now ripened with some years of experience, reached out and rested on a great grit-stained paw. Its paw, which at a time long ago had been smooth, was now coarse. I looked at my hands, and remembered how soft they once were. I turned away from silence and sighed heavily. Slowly, I lifted the bottle to my lips.

Sometimes, on days like these, when the sun sets right behind the city, and its golden haze rises into the clouds, I thing of her. You know, she once told me she could see ghosts. I never doubted her.

"You have confused the true and the real." -George Stanley

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The following comments are for "Heavy Silence"
by AGlassThought

Heavy Silence,
I like this story. I found that your repetition of "I listen" perhaps could have been written another way....I found it stole my interest from the story's meaning. I am sure if you restructured some sentences, rephrasing tightly this would read much nicer.
Just as an example;

"Here? Yes, I come here often, and I sit and I listen. I listen to people"

would read better as;

"I come here often to sit and listen to the people who's names have little meaning."

I really do think your title is very strong.

AGlassthought, however you chose to write this, to me personally doesn't take away the meaning of your story. I am looking forward to more of your writing as I have enjoyed what I have read so far.

Nicely done,

( Posted by: Dareva [Member] On: April 30, 2005 )

I disagree
I disagree with Darlene, but in the nicest possible way of course (accompanied by a big cheesy grin). I found that using the phrase 'I listen' in quick succession emphasised the point. I enjoyed reading this, Jared. The richness of imagery in this is impressive, esp. 'crystals suspended by magic wires'

Like myself, you ignore the spell-checker - don't! (Vacont and gaurded for example). I spelt article 'aricle' in one of my recent posts, so I can't moan too much!
As to Darlene and our difference of opinion, I do agree with her that a rewrite will always benefit the structure of any writing.

This site will usually give constructive criticism of people's work. Your task is to weigh up what has been said and decide whether to accept or reject someone's opinion. At the end of the day, this is your work to do with as you wish.

Please keep writing, I look forward to reading more from you. (and writing shorter comments)

Take care
Paul the Ogg

( Posted by: ogg [Member] On: May 2, 2005 )

Good imagery
Excellent evocative imagery, especially the second paragraph. Is this part of something larger?

( Posted by: Flosengineering [Member] On: May 7, 2005 )

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