Hey you!!! Yeah, you!!! It’s me, a friend from so very long ago. The one you’d thought you’d forgotten about…
Some days, he can still hear the voice(s) of childhood ringing in his ears. One time, so long ago, they seemed to shout at him, they urged him on to bigger and better things. They reminded him of the freedom he had and of the responsibilities he didn’t. They called to him at all hours, from the moment he awoke to the moment he put his head down for the day, a constant chant of carpe diem to remind him that youth is at best, fleeting. Even in his dreams, the voices blared like the wailing of a siren. They called on him to rush to the destination as if it might fade from sight or that something, anything, was in need of rescue. There was no reasoning or rationalizing with them.
As the years moved on, the voices stopped their shouting. They took on a more conversational tone and a sort of quiet singular debate took place in his head. The voices pleaded with him to ignore the world but world wouldn’t hear of it. More and more, the voices that once came to him every day took on the form of a distant relative, the one who makes the occasional call or sends the occasional card. Their shouts, which at one time seemed so loud, now became mere echoes and with each reverberation, became fainter and fainter. His steps, once so quick and easy and dance like, were now more measured and more calculated. To win the game, you must use strategy. You must out plan, outwit and outdo your opponent if you want to cross the finish line ahead of the pack.
As the years moved on further still, the din of the voices became a whisper. They were still there, calling their constant refrain, yet were falling more and more on deaf ears. There was not enough time or ambition to heed their words and advice.. His smile, once so ready and so quick, was now more rationed and cold. He looked outward at others instead of inward at himself, he was afraid of what he had become .He did all of this to try and silence the voices but still, buried in the back of his head, they sang their song.
More years passed and he thought the voices had finally died and left him for good but it wasn’t so. They were sleeping, tired from their ordeal. They dreamt up some plans of their own. Much like the way a drowning man screams for help before the waves sweep him under and his outstretched arm disappears under the ocean, clutching for the last rays of sunlight and another hand or a lifeline to pull them to safety, they gathered up their might and offered up one last call in hope of being saved.
A little girl told him a joke the other day. It was on old and familiar one that has probably been told by children throughout the ages. The expression on her face when she told it bordered on magical. He came to realize that there's a certain beauty in firsts and the light that shone from her eyes radiated into his. The laugh that escaped her lips spread like a plague into him. It awoke the voices of his own childhood and just like any other creature that naps, the voices were refreshed and stronger. They called on him to relive the days when things were simple and life was good.
Tonight is Halloween in his adopted hometown. The children will be dressed up in their finest costumes and giggling back and forth throughout the neighborhood. He will be among them, laughing and giggling and not caring about the next day or the one after that and so on and so on.
For now, the voices of his childhood seem to have won. After all, even the tiniest of sounds in a silent room is still a sound.