People always say silence is golden–personally, I have never seen one yellow spark come shining off that thing; but, hey, we all see life a little bit differently than the person sitting next to us. They say it is golden, methinks, because in a world of noise quiet is a sought after quality: whoever talks the most shows the most; whoever talks the least shows the least.
Think of it this way–those who choose silence are wearing a cape; these people are the tightlipped among us…for a reason. This reason could be embarrassment or anxiety or not feeling strong enough to show themselves…
But you know what else it could be…
Bullies. The kind of people who we should give pity; why? they have such a shitty life they want to hurt others to achieve a wholeness. They wander the world in these large spiked boots and stomp upon anyone who looks a tad–no, a lot–weaker than they are. No one stops it–barely anybody steps in to say, enough!
I am silent because I was bullied.
Middle school. Sixth grade–had a fresh way of looking at the next three years of my life; struggled with grades a bit, but who doesn’t; and there were so many new people I figured I could entertain with my rambunctiousness. Make them laugh. Find some new friends.
I tried to be nice to everybody–people tell me now they don’t think there is a mean bone in my body–and it turned out…not many wanted to be nice back. They called me weirdo; sixlet; and a whole bunch of other names that thankfully have not stayed with me–with the exception of weirdo.
Class started–initiate the teasing. One guy sat behind me in math class, made fun of my glasses, my ears; and guess what? I yelled at the dude. I yelled at him in class, a total of three times. And the teacher standing there, who knew exactly what was going down…he did not do a damn thing to stop this kid.
None of my teachers said anything.
None of my classmates said anything; in fact, I began to think most couldn’t stand me.
Alone and bullied I went into myself. Gone was the loud kid who liked being funny and hoped others thought so, as well; and in his place was a kid who kept his mouth shut and assumed the world was out to tease him. A role reversal, some may say; or a shedding of old skin.
I became silent. Throughout the rest of that year I did not try to be funny or loud.
Thankfully my parents were the SAVIORS OF THE DAY; and rode up to that school and talked to that principal and told them, you need to get your shit together; this boy is being bullied and no one is stepping in to stop it.
And they did–they called up those boys and handled them…no idea how; however shortly afterwards the bulling came to a halt. It was a blockade on their tyranny; and I was so relieved…even though…my bullies had changed me.
For a long time I thought it for the worst: I couldn’t be funny; I couldn’t talk; I couldn’t be me…
Then I started writing.
These short nine page stories in a notebook–at the moment it is atop my desk–ranging from Batman to Call of Duty; fan fiction, if you would. And, hey, don’t bash me! Everyone has to start somewhere! I just happened to…you know…go the route of least resistance?
I wrote them in frenzies, these small three story series; and once I had finished I read them aloud to my parents and relatives–because screw editing at eleven, right…eh? Parents told me they loved ’em; if they hadn’t I wouldn’t have cared–I loved them enough for three dozen people.
Kidding–I got serious self doubt in writing; anything helps…really.
Put simply, where I couldn’t be myself in real life…I could do so in my short stories. Kind of a bad ass science fiction plot, if you ask me; but Isaac Asimov has probably already beaten me to the punch. Besides the fiction–I was comfortable in my shoes in artificial reality…sounds a little depressing, I know; although it hasn’t been to me for the last, what, seven years!
In actual life, as the years passed–read that last bit as if you’re saying “once upon a time”–I battered at my shell with the help of Cross Country and Track; and swore whenever I saw bullying I would put a stop to it. I don’t play teasing…no way, pal.
My friends, even those who don’t know me, are always asking, why are you so nice to everyone? and why are you so quiet all the time? Well, to all those reading–you know who you are–I am nice because no one was nice to me; and I am silent because, I, too, have realized that silence is golden.
Want to know why? It is so hard to come by these days.