A Choir of Loneliness
by Chris G. Vaillancourt
When she screamed it was almost an afterthought.
A fragrant moment that would come and go like
a desk full of papers left littered in the dark.
Still, the shrill sound was worth attention and
so I wondered why the noise would even
matter if the lightbulb was turned off.
Instead I suggested we make our way to
the back of the room where we could pretend
the door would never open again.
I’m holding the handle of my sanity as it
fragments into an endless dancing of despair.
She wants to know what my purpose is, which
is certainly a worthy question but one I
am not certain how to answer.
I ask her to sneak with me into a theatre
where we can sit like stone angels in the
middle of the play. We can hold hands
and judge the performance as if we
were appointed critics with an eye to
I don’t understand her at all and she
shares with me that I am equally
confusing. So I guess that we have
to face the reality that nobody
ever totally sees anyone else.
If she screams again I’ll have to
consider knocking her teeth out.
But that would lead to other situations.
Uniforms would be summoned and
they would insist upon answers. They
would without a doubt throw politically
correct phrases at me as if every word
I had ever said stank like manure in
I would feel safer in a roomful of
evangelical preachers screaming about
heaven and hell like demented sailors
too long at sea.
Yawning, I scratch my balls and marvel
at how much the male penis figures
in the lifeblood of the world.
We men have made this part of
some sort of a god that we adore and
worship in tones of respect and wonder.
I asked her why she had screamed in
the first place and she replied she
had done so the very second she
realized that everything in her life
was a plastic metaphor. Her horror
was in the knowledge that she was
not even sure who had started the
rules she was required to follow.
I agreed that the only solution was
to insist that the walls be
painted in sombre colours of
solitude that we could
use to define the lies we
are compelled to tell one another.
She screams again and this time
I scream with her. Our voices a choir