By Youssef Sourgo
By Youssef Sourgo
Morocco World News
Casablanca, January 09, 2013
None of the members of this family has ever strained to crack this estranging silence in our house, a silence that has morphed into a sempiternal, cultural archetype over the years, or, at least, since I could first secernate between speech and silence. The echoes of intense discussions occasionally filter through the vacuous spaces of the house; this occurs, to my routine dismay, only when outsiders pay us a visit, and circumstantially render us a service too, temporarily drowning the glacial, sulfurous silence under their agitated ocean of uttered banalities.
Yes, silence has been our culture since I came to life; it is the house’s idiosyncratic dialect and custom, an unjustified custom I have never dared probe. It has never been mine, and never did I embrace it. I refused to assimilate myself in an esurient black hole, which has scarcely and gradually devoured all corners of the house, all furniture, all paintings on the wall—even my father’s birds were silenced—forever; they were no exception; they were wholly immersed in the heart of the hole of secrecy. I cannot hear their chants anymore. They are gone, forever. What about me? I have not relinquish to the knife-like magnitude of the hole silence, not yet, not anytime soon; I am not joining the birds, or the furniture, or the paintings, or the rest of my family, now immured right inside the empire of no utterances.
In the empire of silence, the stutterer is a king.
It is now lunchtime, my mundane battle. The round table centering the main hall of the second floor have always been my customary battlefield, there where I have always stood solitary against the monolithic iceberg, as it has absorbed everything in the house but me. I am Maximus Decimus, and silence is that lion I await in the arena, armed with a sword of utterances. I know that I have to crusade against it until one of us knocks the other down and triumphs, but my fate will never be akin to Maximus’. I am certain of one thing: If I ever have to join my father, mother and grandmother there, deep into the abyss of silence, I would at least have tried my utmost to defy its vortex.
“Have you worked today, dad?” I asked him, boldly cracking the silence that reigned at the round table. It was not curiosity that incited my query, and the smile that drew on his face as he gave me a nod of avouchment validated my anticipations. He did not even look at me, nor did he imitate any decipherable sound, for he who had always adhered to the family’s tradition of silence, feared to be “the wolf in sheep’s clothing.” My endeavor to crack a tip of the iceberg went in futile, once again. The black hole absorbed my pathetic utterances, akin to that minute blood drop, there, on a far-boundless icy land, slowly and silently evanescing in within the prepotency of the snowy white. Yes, my utterances find their way to the black empire, or did it find its way to them. I lost today’s battle, again, but I, who shall never give up struggling against the heavy grip of silence, shall keep my identity—my loquacious nature—intact.
To be continued…
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.