chainsaw_headerAnd in the dream, there was abject horror. “Abject”- two differently defined meanings 1. something bad experienced or present to the maximum degree. 2. completely without pride or dignity; self-abasing. Both apply.

No boogeys. No pursuing faceless terrors. No perilous precipice or fall from it. Into a dark lake with no shore. No, this was worse… for its lack of substance.

This was the all too real envisioning of rejection, dejection and bitter hate of a “loved one”. With nary sympathy, reason or remorse. An emotionless exchange they cared less about, and you cannot escape from. The depth and emotional degradation are hard to explain. But if you’ve experienced it… you know.

But we’ll dream on this later. For now, it lacks importance. In comparison to what happens after.

It is enough to say it was the type of terror to drive one from beneath the covers confines. Knowing full well that an intermission of sorts would be required. Least the dreadful visage pick-up where it had left off.

A strange habit of noting the time presented by the last clock passed persists. Ironic, though irrelevant, the microwave’s digital readout proclaims 2:22 a.m. As a flannel (never leave home without it) bathrobe is donned and the late night (or early morning, perspective pending) is joined.

Quick flicker of flame as a cig is lit. Then it is left to a distant arc sodium to illuminate… the white nothingness that enshrouds. Visibility is nil as dense fog presses in like a living presence. Vaporous mist swirls about, dampening body and soul, letting one know they are not just witness but within.

There is…something else. Footfalls are muffled. Vocalizations fall flat. There is no echo, no residual feedback of sound, there is no sound as the mindless void of the murk devours it. Only unbidden silence and it is deafening.

Blinding SilencePerceivable painful pressure. A strainingly desperate sensation. As the sense of audio intake searches for purchase to no avail. An unbidden query ensues- is this what it feels like to be deaf?

Recollections of the manga-based 2016 film- “A Silent Voice” surface in response. A heart-warming/wrenching anime tale of the persecution of a deaf girl. As she tries to find acceptance and friends in elementary school.

On the coattails another inquiry persists. Why isn’t sign universally taught or an option as a second language in our schools? There’s French and Spanish, because unlike other countries we don’t expect people to learn the language of the land when they move in. So why not a way to communicate with those who verbally cannot? Of course, all, young and old, know and utilize the universal sign the middle finger represents. This in itself speaks volumes for our society.

Hold on… back up a graph- “the persecution of a deaf girl”? Yes, the little girl in the film is relentlessly bullied for her handicap and… “OMG! How horrible that someone would bully a handicapped child!” Yes… and No! Actually- how horrible that anyone dis or enabled be subjected to bullying.

Bullying is an issue to different degrees for all ages. And it lingers for both victim and bully long after. The film exhibits the bullying aspect in a montage fashion. Expressing not just the motives of the main two players but the effects on those around whom bear witness. Then carries on with the bully taking center stage. Following through the immediate aftermath. And later realization, revulsion (of self) regret and redemption.

Redemption is a big word, with a bigger meaning and longer path. Should bullies be allotted admission to this well-worn trek? That depends. A lot of factors play into the answer. Most importantly- Are they seeking to truly redeem? Or sate their own conscience with a quick insincere apology?

Those who bully should not be blind to the ensuing silence of their victims. A metaphorical silence of oppression which can last a lifetime. Be wholly aware that one cannot undo the sins of their past, but perhaps one can salvage the future. It’s never too late to not be or stop being an a**hole!

Perhaps we should abandon societies acceptability of the message conveyed by the middle finger and adopt something that encourages others to find a voice… Point at them, then to yourself, then interlock pointer fingers- Translation: “Can we be friends?”

I welcome almost all questions, comments via through the Focus, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.