Those eclectic voices hammered about the diner, spewing conversation that one would naturally cling to with longing ears. One would cling to overhear hushed words and stories as they were painted onto the air and splattered amongst the tundrous walls and floor. With so many voices competing for focus, though, it would be impossible to absorb anything outside of one’s table.

Thus, people sat, contently enraptured by their own conversations. Off in a corner, apart from the noise, apart from the stories lathered on the walls, apart from the temptation to hear it all, sat a lonely few that spoke no words. Instead, they listened for the small gaps of silence that washed away the words. Those brief moments of nothingness, and how, for a moment, one might even be able to hear the private individual breath of another.

And it was this thought that gripped him. Naturally, he sat amongst others to avoid the prospect of isolation, but it was when the room joined him, for fleeting moments of troubled silence, that wrapped him in a loving embrace. The lack of words would hold him dear, and he clung to that emptiness, grasped for it as it fled. It always left. There would be more, but it wouldn’t be the same as the prior stillness. It was suffocating.


Oh, My Word! This brief piece is an exploration on how to move through perspective in writing. Starting broadly, then ending intimately within a single character. Practicing this skill has been quite helpful for me as I develop my craft, and encourage you all to do small exercises such as these, too.

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Oh, My Word! is a weekly updated blog featuring fiction, poetry, drama, and essays for the world. #OhMyWordWednesdays

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One Comment on “Brief Moments of Wordlessness

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