The thoughts and voices that all seek to be heard. What do they want to say? Why must they be heard? Which one do I listen to? It's like a fish market inside my head. Loud words and obscene-looking hand signals flying through the air like arrows. All of them on target. What does it matter what's being said? What does it matter what any of them say?
Sometimes it's funny. There are so many clowns and jokes in your head. And, you catch youself chuckling, to yourself. Sitting on a bus, in the back, looking out the window, by yourself. A smile begins to curl the corners of your mouth, upwards. You see yourself smiling, your reflection bouncing off the unopened panes of the window you're looking out of. Or maybe, those of a passing bus. Fleeting. Momentary. Like life itself.
And then suddenly, for no apparent reason, the clowns and jokers disappear. The lips uncurl. Now, you look out of the window, at the big, bad world outside. Looking at the misery and suffering that just a moment ago wasn't there. Where was it? How did it escape your probing eyes? Or, in a moment of crazy abandon, did you ignore it?
Ignore the world? However is that possible? What about all the people? What about the animals? What about all the wonders of the world, like the mountains and the oceans? What about yourself and what's inside your head? Your world of smoke and mirrors. Your world of schizophrenic societies. Your world of lost wisdom. Your world of stark inequality. Your world of hanging on, to dreams of lies and other purported solutions to our miseries. How can you ever ignore this? Then, you remember the clowns. What was it about them? How did they conceal what was in plain sight? Could they have been truly, happy?
Impossible! Not a chance. Your lips are thoroughly uncurled at the corners. All you see around you are people, like vermin. Milling about. Running around. Some with one working leg, or no arms, or nothing, to speak of possessions, save the bodies they have inherited. Ailing. Diseased. Death and destruction. Disappearing forests. Life laid low by human existence. The voices seem to be blaming you for not lifting a finger because they know you're more than capable. They want you to listent to your heart. They are sad. Not because that is their role in this world, in this drama, but because they know that you can reach for the stars and beyond, but you don't seem to be interested.
The euphoria of self-belief begins to wash over you like a bath of milk and honey. Sweet bliss begins to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You believe that you can make a difference. The voices urge you on. You're being honored by the masses in your head, your own ticker-tape parade. The voices have gathered in droves to see you and cheer you on. You can do it. You're sure of it! You feel like you must give your thank-you speech to the Academy and your fellow stars, simply because they've decided to honor you with this award; this boundless confidence to take on the world. You walk with the proverbial "pep" in your step. You're on top of the world! You stop momentarily to help out a person who is obviously in need of some picking up, letting them bask in your glow and be in awe of your aura. You're on a mission to save the world!
And, you find that you've just discovered this to be your destiny, your purpose for this existence. Nothing is impossible. You have the answer. The voices are unbearable; they're shouting at the top of their lungs and you think the noise is going to come out of your ears. They want you to open your mouth and speak your truth.You can't go wrong. You're infallible. And this is for the future of life as you know it. That's what the voices say. That's how important it is to them! And, you breathe in, deeply. Your lips begin to purse up in anticipation of the thoughts that will soon transform themselves into words. You're about to say something. The voices in your head quieten down. They shush one another into silent submission. The sheer weight of rapt attention is amazing. You're ready. Now is the time. And you begin to speak.
But, you find, that...that no one's listening. As one word follows another out of your mouth, on their way to the ears of your adoring and encouraging public, you find them being shunned. The eyes and ears that once held their breath for you, have gone back to their earlier distractions. "They've heard it all before," shouts one of the voices. Then, it too disappears into the melee of faceless dialogue that is slowly becoming a buzz. Soon, the din of the buzzing voices becomes deafening. You think you're going to faint. You feel your legs buckling under you. Swaying from side to side, you reach out for the nearest thing to support you; to arrest your collapse. But you miss. By a mile. CRASH!
The first rays of light to strike your half-open eyes make them recoil and grimace. As you slowly open them again, you realize that you're laying on the floor. How long have you been here? Are you okay? Is that blood? Phew, just a scratch. You pick yourself up off the floor that was once your battleground. You look around. The visions of the throngs become a little more faint every time you blink. How deafening pin-drop silence can be.
All alone now. Calm. Like the flattest lake; not frozen over, but still, like it never was before. And you stand there. Your eyes wander around and spot a chair. You feel the need to sit down. The weight of this sudden turn in your fortunes in almost unbearable. You've been abandoned. No one around you. Not a single voice to offer you an uplifting word. Sitting there. With nowhere to go. With nothing to do. Silence. Utter silence. You put your head in your hands. And you feel yourself letting go; tears streaming down both sides of your face.
And this is you. Say hello to the camera. Smile. Wave. Talk about what "they" want to hear, not what you think they should be listening to. "Look up."...."Stop crying." Who is this? Who could it be at this time? Who is reaching down to you , down to the lowest of lows to pull you up? What did you do? How can you ever repay this debt? "Come on, smile!" Another voice. "Ha ha ha haaaaaa!" A third one, laughing. Who are they? Why have they come? Did they feel my loneliness? Did they come to cheer me up? Or did they just take a little break? You know, like we all need to every once in a while.
You dry your eyes and try to catch what they're saying. They're a boisterous bunch, they are! They're funny. He he he... What a bunch of...uh...jokers.
Oh my God! They're back!
And the world is right again.