My existence comes down this ...
silence and then no silence, with more silence than not.
I swim in language. It is like liquid to me. Clear as water, I can see it, I can taste it, and I can manipulate it at will. (But I cannot breathe it in; I need air for that.)
In my vision, I am encased in a metal tube, barely able to move. The only source of light is above me, but the light is diffused. Inches above my head, there is a pane of glass covering the entrance to the tube. Above the glass is water, clear water. When people talk to me, the water flows in a constant motion. In some cases, the words are bright and colorful. When this happens, they cause the water to change its tint for a moment or two before being washed away. In most cases, the words are clear and colorless. Words are exchanged, but my mind is in automatic mode. The words pour out between me and the other person, but I can seldom recall what was said.
People speak with me quite often. I can see their distorted faces peering through the water and the glass, looking down on me, but not really seeing me. And then, every once in a while, someone like HER comes along. She comes near, and the water and the glass seem to disappear. I can see plainly, and I know that she can see me too. The stale air that surrounds me has been replenished, and I can breathe freely again. At this point, the words have stopped flowing, but I am glad for the moments (which sometimes turn into hours) of freedom.
Then she leaves, and my watery tomb is re-sealed. I am surrounded again, looking out through the glass and the water. Giving in, and taking out. The flow. The clear tide. The familiar cycle.
At times like these, I am left to digest the words she has spoken. They melt in my mind like cotton candy. Sweet and then gone. Pure and simple, but short-lived. I savor them during the in-between times.
Why do I let my guard down for her? How can I open myself so completely to her, when I know that the experience will be over so quickly? Wouldn't it be better to keep things as they are? (Perhaps then, I wouldn't feel so suffocated when she's gone.) I can't breathe anymore. I have to get out. I have to break free.
But what then? I cannot live on air alone. Take me out of the glass, and I will lie on the floor like a dying goldfish. Breathing yes, but unable to survive on dry land. These words, my language - they sustain me. I cannot do my job without them, and I cannot survive for long without my job. I need the flow of words, I know this.
My problem is this ... now that I have tasted fresh air, I do not believe that I can survive without it. Wait a second, redefine that. I can survive, but it is only survival. It is pure, primal, and mundane survival; nothing more.
I look up into the water above me. There is no movement without conversation, there is only stillness. I long for reprieve. I yearn for her presence. I can't wait to breathe again.
Rescue me, princess. Rescue me from this tomb. Set me free, if only for a few moments. I long to hear your voice.