Found this while trawling back through an old journal. Still resonates.
Someone once asked me what the hardest thing to say might be. Forget the tongue-twisting, lip-smacking words that linguists have wet dreams about. We’re talking the substance of being, that which leaves your guts in icy turmoil and makes your head come apart. Staccato sentences that somehow always peel off the walls in shadow, but never find the light of the lamp, to glow on your hair. They come so easily, these words, when you’re alone at the station and reciting the proposal to make him/her stay; or sat at the bar with indifferent patrons, a breath-space of defiant nonchalance while you rehearse that break-up scenario –
(always in your favour) –
in the snatched few seconds before the door swings open.
When was the last time you opened your mouth and said, with any real sincerity, exactly what it was running through your mind at that distinct moment? When it comes down to it, isn’t the mind a private place, somewhere to hide the reality of emotions as they flicker past a montage of Never-shall-Say? In the face of this world, where we’re sharpened and blunted by degrees of exposure and censure, who the hell wants to articulate themselves and become a pixellated splatter on some stranger’s screen, a Post-It tacked to a fridge, a last-laugh garbled over an office meme?
“. …. …”
Was that what you really wanted to say, across a scarred table tussled over with empties; across that small pocket of bracing air in the train carriage? Did your mind clutch at words so simple in their syllabic forms when stood alone, but once strung together twist a copper wire around the throat?
Some things are best left unsaid. Especially when actions shout, where words can only mumble.