The Quiet World

there should be a legal limit on how many people you love are allowed to walk out of your life in a month.
Like in Jeffrey McDaniel’s Quiet World-

In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.
yes. let the government regulate our emotions, so that we will not have to feel.
my brother left this morning. and he left me with madeleine. i will take her to all the places i used to know. we only have a month together but it will be a glorious month. is it possible for me to withdraw even further into myself? penso di sì. spero di sì. è necessario di sì.

i burnt myself on the toaster today and there is a little red welt on my arm.
my brother also left me with his mobile. it doesn’t have a camera, which is perfect for my purposes. the past two weeks without a mobile were interesting. i had to make very precise plans, and was almost always early or on time in an exact place. i love precision. and the fact that people can’t just call me up to cancel or change plans. mobiles encourage fickleness, lateness, and a general lack of commitment. i remember whenever he called me up to meet for lunch at a specific time, i would be there at that time, and he would call me 5 minutes late and tell me he was still in his room. i was hardly annoyed. just sad, that his word counts for so little. it also indirectly tells one how important or not they are to another person, doesn’t it? you’d hardly be late if you were meeting the president.

it makes things a bit more inconvenient for myself and people who are trying to contact me. but that also means that they only contact me for important/urgent things. ms. tan called me this morning to fix some things on the website we were working on yesterday and was shocked that i didn’t have a mobile. i think bibi told her when she was trying to get my number. i told her i didn’t want to be contactable just yet and she was utterly disgusted. and i always get my parents to ask who’s on the line now so i can screen my calls/mentally prepare myself for boredom or favours. she must have been really disgruntled when my mum asked her to identify herself. lol. poor thing.


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