Speaking.

Not everyone who speaks knows what they say or stand for. It is easy to be caught in the whirlwind romance of speaking and only then realising that what was spoken meant too little.

I am not a good speaker. I cannot lie down in thinking, carefully preparing the ground for the target to fall into, sneaking my way to highlight the incompetencies of the other, and borrowing from the great. I can only say what is. I have been told to feign enthusiasm, to mince my words where others would bellow their tales of heroism and victories. I have been told to greet, to bow my head, and always paste a smile on my face. I have been told to laugh out, to know that I have the permission to stand tall. I have been told to speak up and I have been told to measure my words.

I go to bed night after night promising myself I will speak up or that I will refrain from talking too much. Just off-hand words or a careful question uttered in reverence, perhaps would solve my problem, I think.

Then I would wake up, put on my work clothes, and walk towards the mighty buildings and shining glories. I have framed each question, dissed what had to be, even practiced silences. But, I see, someone else speaking for me before I speak for myself and they think that they are doing right by me. So, I walk back home and lie down, promising I would let them speak and celebrate the liberation of having to use words to talk about myself.

What is it about me, after all, I ask? Nothing. Nor do I bring happiness into the world nor could I cry with someone. I have remained alone and now, I have grown used to it. Truly, I also can become invisible, needing no magical cloak. I have the colour of the earth and every time I lie down on it, I am taken inside without another question. Then I also have the colour of the water and I dissolve into it, in utter carelessness.

 What is it about my voice? Why do I find little need to speak and why do I believe in nothing?

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