Monday, July 11, 2011

The Tort of Silence

Never have I wanted quiet will not come to me now. I had hoped to sit for three hours during my journey and write in peace.

But as it is, I am being punished for what I do not know.

Why was I given to be seated beside a woman who knows more words than I? Who does not understand the solace that I seek. I tried all manner of device to put her voice out of my mind – without success, I endured the endless chatter as she discussed all issues of her life with the companion, she thought to bring for such a trip, as I am sure they planned. For the first half hour, I listened as an observer to them without stop. The daily lives of these women were of little interest as I had planned to work on a story during my time. I had scheduled weeks in advance this trip with every intention of putting some ideas to paper while watching the countryside pass.

How many hours must I continue this tort of my desire for silence? I think it should not be so long because these women must eventually quit the words. They can not possibly have too many more stories of work, boys, and shopping adventures to keep up this dialogue.

We have stopped in Thurles to gather more patrons. At last, silence. I open my notes and begin to think of which scene to work first. The daughter betrayal of the father’s death before his captors? I know this story and have thought of the tension between a daughter who is in love with an ideological precept of faith for country and her religion and a father who is torn to betray his own beliefs to achieve the freedom of a foreign government.

The minutes pass quickly and our train departs without silence as these two women resume their chatted discourse. I close my notes and sit back to begin another leg of this dogged journey. There was no keeping pretence of my displeasure with the women. I scrapped cloth from a napkin and stuff the roiled tissue into my ears. But this is of no help as I can not escape their conversations.