Most people don't realize they're speaking when they're silent. Many of us go through our day-to-day, shuffling by, screaming silent confessions to every person we encounter. Sometimes these confessions are terrible, horrible – in an act of an undying love, or hatred. These two polar opposites on a color wheel get confused. Our mouths smile and say that we care, when our hands stealthily form daggers. The contradiction of two such strong and different emotions puts us in a constant distress.
When I was very young I met a man who did not know that he was a mute. He was immune to lies of all shapes, sizes, and colors. He had very strong hands, the kind of hands that women fear, respect, and adore, adorned with callouses and scars – working hands. Fists of iron, steel, flint and other man-made explosives. He never knew that whilst his callouses dragged and scarred promises in my skin, they were carving "I love you" in words never written in any language before.
I was blessed with the curse of Webster, and the ability to manipulate words with a flick of my wrist, but never in my life will I be fluent in the language of artists and lovers. I can read and comprehend it, but I will never speak it. Am I doomed to spend the rest of my days tracing portraits and trying to decipher the words that happened upon my skin? Will they ever speak to me their secrets? I would, if I could, cut out my own tongue and place it upon a silver platter.
My favorite tattoo holds no ink – but is a simple etched butterfly, wings in such high detail that I'm sure that they can lift and fly me away. This is the rendering of an artist's design, left upon my skin for all future generations to ponder over. I touch it obsessively. I bite my tongue and avoid those silly words at all costs. I keep my fingers where others can see them, trying to replicate those promises upon my own skin, but in this world of artistry, I am deaf, dumb, and blind. Which only makes the lies easier to understand. I swallow them with great difficulty.
His hands turned to daggers, as eventually, they all do. I never understood the difference between promises and regrets, between love and hatred, between having to leave or choosing to abandon a butterfly. After an eternity of silence, it feels really good to scream again.