Moments of Silence by Andrew Kehoe

We bow our heads, certain that this moment, wait, this one right now, is the right one. This is the one where we are heard. A deep spatial quiet envelops our world and the silence brushes our skin in a light caress, a lost lover finding us in a dream, our mother or father soothing us in the dark. Our eyes are closed to the world, to the sun, to the stars. There is nothing beyond this moment until the end of time. Our infantile nature shoves the landscape of perception beyond our reach. Somewhere, a wish for a breeze escapes through the static, the harsh stillness of the moment of silence. The wish is granted and our hair is pushed down over our forehead. The inside of our mouth tastes old and stale, has been closed for too long, for eternities, and words meant to be spoken long ago died on the desert of our tongue, hanged from the roof of our mouth. Screams and Fury, born of the initial anguish of tragedies, drowned in a hard swallow for this moment of repose, thought, consideration, silence. We have a moment of silent remembrance as a show of respect for those we’ve lost, for those that are gone, for those that have died, for those that have been killed, for those that have been taken, for those that have left us, for those that have passed on, for those that have… for all.

The moment passes. We dawn our own sight with the raising of the curtain, the opening of eyes to the sting of daylight, to the buzz of neon. Our colors flood in and the world is as it was when we closed our eyes only moments before. We thought so long and hard during that moment, in those few passing seconds the consciousness of the Universe flowed in and out of us and ferocious speeds, the scar of tragedies burned and itched in all of us, the fabric of time bent to our will, and our enunciation to the stars blasted off into the epic silent infinity beyond our mind. Our faces in the dirt, we do not see our hope drift off in aether. Our time was then, when we felt the atomic bonds between our neurons fire in unison for that one instant and our collective good peaked at the apex of being. And then our time fell back to Earth.

We open our eyes and place our hats back on our heads. We un-clasp our hands from under our chins. We eat the lump in our throats and dab at the salt in the corners of our eyes. We take our hands from our hearts and adjust the pupils of our eyes to the reality of the world before us. A wistful breeze stirs the sound out of the air in violent percussion, mouths open wide and breathe loudly in a dusty, anxious exhale. Nostrils push out the smoky fire of anger trapped inside; maybe we were once dragons capable of Wrath and Retribution. Words are chewed on at the molars and sputtered out sideways through pinched lips.

“It’s a shame.” We say. The silence is gone.

That was the moment when we were heard, when we had the universe quiet and at attention, and we said nothing, instead we were silent. Instead, the universe heard the breeze reminding us where we were.

We wasted our moments. And now they are gone.

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Andrew Kehoe is a Sacramento native raised by an artist and a journalist and is a public service enthusiast. After graduating with a degree in political science and working for eight years for a large corporation he decided to teach English in Japan for a couple years where he rekindled the fire of writing speculative fiction, playwriting and honing his photography skills. He is working on his second first novel The Intersection and working to get his first play Memetic Response produced.

Photo credit: Larry Thacker 

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