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Unstuck 3.1: The Sound of Silence

Silence on the outside, noisy inside.

We met and thought we might have some work to do together. I followed up with an email later that same day, and you responded within an hour or two, inviting me to coffee or lunch. I replied right away, saying, “You choose the place and the time and I’ll be there.” Then silence ensued.

Now what do I do? The chatter in my head asks a thousand questions. Would another email leave me looking pesky? Should I wait another day before following up? Was it something I said? Something I didn’t say?

Forget the grand mysteries of our time. The butler never does anything anymore. Now, the greater mysteries sound like silence on the other end of an email stream, smothering what certainly seemed to be a promising new beginning. This silence suspends opportunity while encouraging a nattering in my head. Stymied, I’m stuck with my questions and nobody to answer the least of them.

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Robert Mankoff notes that only about one in ten submitted ‘toons qualify as publishable, so he says to submit ten at a time. Maybe I should be finding leads following his advice, ten at a time. But synchronicity doesn’t ever seem to work that way.

So I’ll try again, ask if perhaps I missed the response in my inbox or suggest that some spam filter swiped it on its way. I’ll try to make a generous interpretation of the silence I’m experiencing instead of simply concluding that something must be wrong with me. It could be that there’s something very wrong, very, very wrong with me, but tacit testimony couldn’t qualify as adequate evidence of any offense. The silence sucks and will leave me stuck until I make some noise.

The sound of silence is the sound of fear, the din of disappointment drawing nearer. What hopeful inquiry might I muster when I haven’t heard anything back from you, Buster?

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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