I sat on my balcony, preparing to smoke the last cigarette of the night. It was late and my bones themselves were tired. As I snuffed out the cigarette and stood with a stretch, a noise caught my attention. It was so faint that I immediately brushed it off as the wind and continued on to bed, the noise already out of my mind.
The next morning, I returned to the balcony for more cigarettes and coffee. I watched the world wake up with me, the cars churning through the intersection like ants, the birds making their endless racket, the shadows growing steadily shorter. As I watched and listened, I heard the noise again. For a moment, I thought it was the wind, since I could see the palm fronds moving across the road. Squinting and looking down at nothing in particular, I tilted my head to try to hear it better. It wasn’t just the wind. There was a voice.
I tried to brush it off again, and continued about my day, returning to the balcony once in a while for another cigarette. I found myself squinting and tilting my head each time, the world around me forgotten in favour of this whispering wind. I couldn’t understand what it was saying. It was a like voice on the television in a room down the hall, stifled by three or four walls between us. No matter how much the noise around me died down, it was still so quiet.
I had another cup of coffee along with my lunch, another cigarette to smoke and that damned wind to keep my company as I sat on this damned balcony. I felt strange. I felt almost as though I weren’t myself, as if I were an actor in a screenplay of my life. I instinctively knew my lines and every move I had to make. I began to fear that voice in the wind.
Dinner. I still sat on the balcony as I ate. I didn’t want to eat, I just knew I should. I wasn’t even sure what I was eating, but I still ate it out of necessity. I lit my cigarette and listened intently. I would hear what this voice said. I must hear this voice. For an hour, I sat still, allowing my cigarette to burn down to my knuckles. I didn’t move as I felt it sear my flesh. I would hear this voice. I would hear this voice and it would tell me its secret.
I nodded off. I wasn’t aware how long I had slept, but the sky was dark and the streetlights lit. As I awoke, I had an idea. I would pretend to continue sleeping. I would lull it into the open. The crick in my neck bothered me only slightly as I waited for the wind to tell me what I so desperately wanted to know.
From the corner of my eye, I saw the moon rising high in the sky when I finally heard the voice again. It was clearer. No longer three or four rooms away, it was just on the other side of the wall.
I could hear it! I could hear the words!
My internal celebration was cut short, however when I finally heard the secret the wind had been keeping from me.
“The anti-psychotics appear to be working, doctor.”
Credit To – Jack Alltrade