Of (not) Listening

“Three chapters! and X had only said three lines!”

Well. He doesn’t talk that much… A statement that got rolled eyes and sighs of exhasperation.

“At least show him talking, beyond one liners, to his peers or something… Guys his age like to talk about themselves! Go and take him out for a walk!”

Eh? Really? As in taking your pet out for a walk?

“As a pet… or a date… Whatever! Just take him out!”


And here we were on Sunday morning at the weekly car-free-day event, held on a chunk of a two lane road, for the nth time. X was walking on one lane facing a stream of people that went up the road while I was on the other following another stream. We walked silently for sometimes. He was taking in his surrounding and I, of course, thinking about him taking in our surrounding. So far, I had been unable to get him to talk.

Should I get him in a group of friends? I wondered.

Going past some crowds, I listened in on them, took mental notes on some interesting topics, talks, and words they use. That was until another character, The Joker, popped up and commented, “why do you have to make him so wonderfully well behaved and dull?”


On the other lane, X was putting on his earphones, probably picking up my annoyance.

“To what would he be listening?”

Music. Sound. Silence.

But then X loosened the earphones and walked slower. His attention was fixated on a group of people.

We walked past a space where loudspeakers were broadcasting a song by <insert-the-lovely-singer’s-name-who is-the-rage-these days>. The Joker’s eyes gleamed with mischief, “or maybe listening to her? You may not be into her music, but he probably would.”

I thought about it for a while and shook my head firmly. No, he would not.

The Joker laughed. “You are jealous!”

I walked on. I put on the earphones right when the mp3 player played a song that spoke, “Don’t you know? It hurts me whenever you mention her name…”

The Joker laughed even louder.

At the other end, X screamed. “Shut the *£$%! up! “

We were both stunned. Did he just hear you laughing?

But The Joker’s attention was elsewhere. He was putting two and two. “Is he defying you? He is silent because he is defying you? He listens to someone you don’t want him to listen to because he is defying you? His creator?”

The scene froze. X froze. The Joker froze. I made them disappear. Then I was silent for a long long time.

Don’t you know? Silent and listen share the same letters… I spoke to no one in particular.


“So? How is the exploration? What is his story?”

Err… I sort of lost the plot. Another statement that got rolled eyes and sighs of exhasperation.


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