Speak by Chirin Barikan

Posted on April 27, 2013 by


They say that actions speak louder than words, but let me inform you that my mind speaks louder than the two combined. What I am telling you is no ordinary joke; my mind literally shouts at me all day. He tells me to do things and then blames me for them.


When he told me to kill my dog, I did not want to do it. Why would I want to kill my friend? Certainly you all blame me for giving in to his evil commands. But when he won’t shut up, I have no choice but to comply. He forces me do these horrible things against my better judgment, and it’s therefore not my fault that I am this way today.


But then again, at the end of the day, my mind is the only friend I’ve got, and the only other person who can hear me speak. As the rest of the world has chosen to remain immune to the sound waves I have been sending for the past two years, I am obliged to hold on to him.


Every night, before I go to bed, he asks me how my day went, if I’m alright, and if by any chance anyone could hear me speak. Now when I think of it, his questions are meaningless, because he’s been with me all day, but I sigh and repeat the same reply every night.

“Today was just as boring as yesterday, I am fine, thank you for asking, and no, people still treat me like a mute.” Satisfied with the answer I have given him, he allows me to fall asleep quite quickly, and gets a few hours of rest himself.


Now you’re probably wondering why I refer to my mind as a he rather than an it, but all I can do for now, is assure you that I am not mad – at least not yet. I am not bantering when I tell you that there is indeed a male voice in my head; someone who sounds a lot like the bad guy in a Disney movie; an uninvited guest in La La Land (not that my masterpiece of a mind is La La Land, but that’s not the point.)


The doctors say I have something called selective mutism. In other words, I don’t speak because I choose not to. But of course I speak, you idiots, I speak all the time. You can’t hear me, and for that, you’re the deaf ones. Mental note – write a letter of complaint to whomever is in charge regarding people’s tendency to blame their disability on me.


However, I must admit, that two years ago when my father died a sudden death, I was too shocked to say goodbye. My papa left me unannounced, and ever since he did, people started to drift away, and the ones who stayed no longer heard me when I spoke.


Something quite fishy has been going on lately. When Bill (the evil man in my head) is asleep at night, some inner force me pushes me to remember the image of a caramel-colored man with curly black hair. He’s sitting on the black couch in my living room, holding a box of Cheerios in one hand, and a cigar in the other. He shouts at the players on the screen, and that is probably why he can’t hear me when I speak to him. I am certain that I know the man from somewhere, but I never get the chance to see his face, and every time I try, Bill wakes me up and starts the daily conversation. Every night it is the same image, the man on the couch. I do my utmost to protect him, but whether I am protecting him from Bill or myself, I am not quite certain.


I hear the doorbell ring, and Bill the villain tells me not to open. But for once, I decide to defy him and open the door anyway. The sight of the man from my dreams on my doorstep nearly takes my breath away. It confuses me to no end, but for a moment, I understand that I have friends on this lonely path. That sometimes who you are is not something you find, but rather something you have when you need it.


Without words, he holds me tight, and then whispers into my ear:

“Speak, my love; for I am here, and I promise you that it’s all going to be alright.”

With tears in my eyes, I quickly blurt out an “I love you” followed by two years worth of words.

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