volume

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     She’s still talking about the fish, I know the thing is all defrosting, being found in Yukon, was it, but still, I mean, let’s talk about something related to what I was saying, you know?

     Mammal, I-

     You hear about the kid who jumped in, yesterday? I mean, of course that’s going to happen, I can’t say I feel too bad for the family – it’s just common sense.

     Well-

     I mean have you seen the thing? Have you looked up close and really seen the thing?

     Yes yesterday we-

     I have. Even walked up to the glass. I was with this girl. Forget her name. I wait for the thing to come. It’s all swirling around on the other side of the glass and this girl is talking about her job or something. Ugh I wish I was waiting in the hospital she was such an idiot.

     Yeah-

 

(Masculinity swallows space)

 

     Finally, the thing approaches. I can tell it sees me because it stops mid-fish-swirl and comes for us.  There’s this security guard supposed to keep us from the glass but I had talked him up earlier and I knew he’d let me pass. I do it: I lunge to smack on the window as it passes.

     Why-

     The crowd around me just goes quiet. You can tell the thing heard the smack – it stops. 

     Why did-

     It’s looking at me. Into me, you know? I give it a wink, and I swear on Joe Strummer, it blinks back.

     Can I-

     I smile, relieved I got good work done. Everyone is really quiet now, even the security guard who was stupidly yelling. I sense pure success. I chose to do something and did it with nobody’s help. I was, in that moment, a corporation.

     Really though-

     Turning around, I look to the group of boys, scattered around me, looking for high-fives. But they’re looking at the glass. They are looking away from me. I look, to my left, to the girl. She has her hand on the glass. The beast seems to have stopped. It seems that they are alone in the moment, away from us, and I swear to you, I have never been more bored in my entire life.

word by Liam Lachance 

colour by Fiona Tang

From the author: “The beast here got me thinking about one of those loud guys who sees this very real example of something bigger than him that he does not understand. He goes on a monologue when speaking to a friend and assumes that telling things he did is the most important use of time, whereas it comes off nervous. Connecting with people and your environment is never achieved by loudly yelling about yourself, but so many white guys do it.

Masculine power, it seems, has been conflated with volume. Logic and intelligence are put to the side when men yell about themselves, thinking what to say next when ‘listening,’ and are respected by other men with the same values on power and volume, who coincidentally have access to privilege and employment, wealth, security, and health.

Not only does this result in a meaningless existence (missing the people and things of your environment, while talking about yourself); an embarrassing existence (silence by others confused as approval, the entourage will always rip on this loud person after they leave the room, bus, car, party); and a stunted growth (ideas, striving to be ‘purely independent,’ always rot), it takes up the place of other voices that could bring more innovative and effective ideas to all conversations, let alone provide more interesting engagements with one another in the world.

Author: Word and Colour

words inspired by colour wordandcolour.com

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