The voices in my head are quiet today.
I wake up to tweets mentioning he’s no more. Cancer. Part of me is relieved that it wasn’t a horrible accident. The other part realizes that cancer probably meant he suffered harder. And longer.
I check my notifications. There are consolatory messages from close friends who know how much I adored him. I skim through them, not knowing how to react. There’s an abyss forming around me that I’m not yet aware of.
The voices in my head are exceptionally quiet today.
Not so much as a hint about his condition in the news preceding his death. Or, maybe, I didn’t look closely enough. The loss is sudden. Not unthought of, no. In fact, I’m one of those people, y’know? For us, forming attachments comes at the price of living with a constant sense of foreboding. Enjoying the little things is tough when you are also, simultaneously, worrying about their transience. Deciding to love someone is outright lunacy.
So, no. I won’t say I was unprepared for the possibility. Just, not ready for this suddenness. I absent-mindedly turn my phone screen on and off. My phone’s wallpaper — from his 2015 Empire Magazine interview — is stunning. There is so much intensity in the picture, so much rawness.
Today, the voices in my head are so quiet, it’s deafening.
It’s a little strange — the capacity to miss someone we’ve never met, the struggle to orchestrate a eulogy for a person we once could not stop gushing about, the conviction that caging memories will set you free.
The train station is a ten-minute walk from my workplace. It’s raining. Usually, I’ll have my umbrella out for even the slightest of drizzles; today, I don’t mind getting soaked to the bone. I fiddle with my headphones as I wait for the lights to turn green. I’m not sure what I want to listen to today. Or, really, if I want to listen to anything at all. There’s too much traffic noise though, and I want to drown it out. I set my playlist to shuffle.
The abyss, as deep as the Voice that’s currently caressing my ears, makes itself known without warning. I’m falling but I don’t even resist. My eyes are wet but the rain cannot be blamed. You must understand that the Voice wasn’t just my music, it was also my balm. It would make me soar on days I was already buoyant with happiness, salve my spirit when the weeks turned gray and lonely.
As I’m falling, I fervently wish that the Voice won’t turn into a mere memory; I so desperately want its magic to continue.
‘Always’ say the voices in my head in unison, breaking their silence and halting my fall.
No, the Voice hasn’t gone away forever. The voices in my head are real; one of them is Alan Rickman’s.
copyright: Empire Magazine, full article link here.
(This piece was penned on January 14 and originally published on January 21.)