Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"The silence was too thick to be cut. Too hollow to be filled."

Jamie Lynn Cox, age 18. Fresno, CA.


I had a dream last night

That I boarded a train

To nowhere in particular

But I was not alone

There were several people there

Just as bewildered as I

All were dressed in thin clothing

And shivering

Ill-prepared for the cold climate

There were no tickets

No assigned seating

No listed destinations

It was as if it were a one-way train

That would sleepily continue into the infinite darkness of night

The silence was too thick to be cut

Too hollow to be filled

I stumbled to my seat

Trying to recall where I was and why

Suddenly I spotted part of a name tag on one of the passengers

Shamefully trying to hide it in the breast of their coat so I couldn’t read it

I realized that every nameless person had one

Whether or not they knew about it

I frantically searched for mine to no avail

I wanted to know who I was!

There was a drunken vagrant sleeping in the back

Who reeked of his own piss and filth

I didn’t want to touch him

But I had to get closer

I had to know his name

I saw the rectangular sticker displayed right on his chest

As if he didn’t realize it was there

Or as if he didn’t care to hide it

His name was Responsibility

And I was in disbelief

How could Responsibility just let himself go like that?

As my search progressed

I discovered a name for everyone

Worry sat in the front row

Rocking back and forth next to Fear

Who held his head in his hands

Beauty’s makeup was smeared across her face

She was crying

She stared relentlessly into the dark windows

Trying to get a glimpse of her reflection

Hope was an elderly man

I’d assumed he’d been riding the same train for a very long time

Patiently waiting for the train to stop rolling so he could get off

He wore a smile

The only one I’ve seen yet

There was one girl who never looked at me

She just gazed towards the front of the train

Lacking the curiosity of everyone else

I approached her

Touched her cheek

And turned her face to mine

Her eyes were blue and clouded

She reached out awkwardly

To find my hand, I assume

Across her hand I found the name tag

Hello, my name is Blind

I sympathetically held her hand

And wondered if she knew her name

Though she couldn’t read her identifying label

Without locating my own,

I still didn’t know what to call myself

She cuddled up to my arm affectionately

So beautiful was she

Like an angel

I instantly grew close to her

As I watched her snuggle into my side

I saw my name tag across my shoulder!

I read it and a wave of guilt washed over me

My name was Sorry

I realized then and there

Through the silence that could not be broken

There was no way for me to introduce myself to Blind

I realized then and there

The warmth of our embrace would be the only communication her and I could ever share

I awoke and cried.

How would she feel if she knew she was cuddling next to a person with a name like mine?

I felt like Liar, taking advantage of that sweet girl

Someone like Trust should have held her

Not me

I wish there was a way for her to have known the truth

I wish there was a way I could have told her

I never wanted to hurt her

For all she knew, I could have been Love riding next to her

A person worthy of such compassion

I’ve never known a feeling like that before

She held my arm without ever questioning who she was holding

She just did it because I was there

Whatever I was

She didn’t care

She held my arm tightly


And clinging to the only person she knew


I was Sorry

And she’d never know it.


  1. Wow, this is powerful. I think I'll need to read it again to really understand it. Thanks for sharing.