25. Sounds and Silence

A taxi driver said to a passenger, “In other countries you can listen.”

“You think?”

“Yes, there are too many people trying to speak here at once. And what makes it worse is that there isn’t any space for the words to go. So they pile up and you’re always bumping into them.”

“I know what you mean,” said the passenger. “When I went to the country I didn’t crash into anything and I didn’t have to say anything. I noticed the sky, even. It was pretty.”

“I’ve never been able to listen in the country of this country. The words are hiding places. I mean leaving the borders of this nation. I mean going somewhere else like, I don’t know, some remote part of the world no one’s discovered yet,” continued the taxi driver.

“Sir, I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world like that,” said the passenger.

“What makes you say that?”

“I think people have spilled into everything. I think even the quietest place is just waiting for noise. Maybe the best we can hope for is a place that has the least amount of words already created waiting for us to stumble into them.”

“The car is filling up. What you just said is collecting in the front seat next to me.”

“Is it?” said the passenger.


“I didn’t mean to crowd this space,” said the passenger.

“Me either,” said the taxi driver.



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