Alastair Has Nothing to Say

 

Alastair has always been the type to keep talking even when he has nothing to say. Some may say he just loves the sound of his own voice.

 

I’d argue that he just fears silence. 

 

Silence forces one to think. To consider thoughts as they enter their mind, rather than just spewing out whatever words land on their tongue. Silence necessitates contemplation; reflection on the world, one’s place in it, and what you will eat for lunch. For Alastair, such cognition is troubling.

 

Though he seems insistent on convincing everyone otherwise, Alastair is remarkably bright. His tells are small, but present. That glint he gains in his dark hazel eyes when his cohorts are charmed by his blasé attitude. The twitch of his fingers when some idea manages to stick in his brain rather than being swiftly filtered out.

 

His intelligence is most clear, however, when he stops being perceived. In those moments where he believes himself to be alone, I see the typically jovial face furrow in rumination. His typically slumped shoulders straighten up and tighten as he considers what comes next. His eyes brighten with idea after idea after idea. Then that intensity disappears in an instant. He saunters out from behind his corner and joins in on whatever conversation is closest by.

 

I think Alastair is frightened by his ideas. The intensity. The frequency. The content. I think Alastair wants to escape his mind, so he occupies others instead. He stuffs the cotton of his endless stream of consciousness in his ears and fills the heads of those around him. 

 

Maybe Alastair does love his own voice.

 

It’s his only defense against Silence’s beast. 

-Chesley Wetherington