Silent Words

The first few sentences left my mouth as planned. I hadn’t thought through what I would say, but the words I heard myself speak didn’t make me uncomfortable. They didn’t upset me. I wasn’t disoriented. Then, a few minutes or five minutes later, as if I had no say in the matter, my spoken words affected my body in a different way. They were my words, yet there was something foreign about them. I didn’t switch languages in mid sentence, did I? I probably would’ve heard Martin move in his chair behind the couch if he’d heard me speak in Spanish (or maybe he’s fluent in Spanish, and such a sudden change in language wouldn’t have startled him). For a long moment I wondered if all of this was a waking dream. Maybe I’d been silent since arriving on the couch. How long ago was that? I didn’t dare glance at the clock beyond the couch. I was angry. Who were my words angry with? My father, my mother, everyone, or was it a silent anger? In that case, they would’ve been silent words. The thought returned that I hadn’t spoken. I spoke. Martin spoke. His words felt real, as if all of mine had existed only in my imagination. Something changed inside of me. Maybe I became aware of what I’d said to him. I’d said that I was afraid that I would stop the treatment. It was going too well. I wasn’t going to stop. Words might stop coming. Silence might become my second language. Martin would listen.

 

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