Listen up!

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. – Steve Jobs

Sa majesté le roi se parlant tout bas (14 January 2021)

A king stands in a stone water well talking softly to himself. Why?

His clothing is neither ripped nor sullied, his bejeweled crown sits perfectly on his head, and his long hair and beard are both perfectly coiffed. If he has fallen or been pushed into the well, we could expect him to look at least somewhat disheveled. We could also expect him to look worried or scared or both. Instead, he appears quite peaceful. Are we to believe that he is standing in there of his own accord? That hardly seems plausible. Who in his right mind would hang out voluntarily in a cold, damp, unsanitary water well? Nobody.

It’s more likely that the king has been abandoned in this stone water well, left to grow old and die, alone, with no one to talk to but himself. But this still doesn’t explain why he would be in there in the first place. What is this stone water well? Who is this king?

In the beginning, there was heaven. You floated in there, God all around you, God inside you. His voice: your heartbeat. Your heartbeat: the truth. Fully intact and clean. Impeccably dressed, not a hair out of place. No bruises, no scratches. Calm and composed. The king.

Outside came the noise. Small at first, it grew bigger with time. It blocked out the heartbeat. Or rather, blocked it in. One cold, hard, impenetrable stone at a time. The water well.

The good news is that this well hasn’t always been there. It’s not permanent. It can be dismantled. In fact, it should be dismantled. It must be dismantled. The truth is in there. It’s talking softly to itself, which is to say, to you.

“Woman,” it says, “quit fucking around already! Listen up!”

Sidewalk cracks for Sa majesté le roi se parlant tout bas

What? Did you people think this king was going to be all rainbows and puppies just because he’s dressed so nicely and looks so calm? Look at where he is standing, for Pete’s sake! Would you be all rainbows and puppies if the person whose attention you’ve been trying to catch for years has been closing you up in a cold, damp, unsanitary well? I doubt it.

The truth, then, as I was saying, is in the stone water well. It’s talking softly to itself, which is to say, to you.

“Woman,” it says, “quit fucking around already! Listen up! You go for these long walks in Prospect Park with Jerry in the morning before work because you want to prove that you are bigger than your pain. But we both know that’s only half of it. What you really want is for Jerry to come back on the things he said about you to the marriage counselors that day: that you’re vapid and superficial, incapable of unconditional love, lacking in the kind of strength and courage it would take to face and conquer hardship and adversity. Idiot child. Chances are, Jerry doesn’t even remember saying these words. If you’re waiting for him to apologize for them, to tell you they aren’t true (they aren’t, for the record), you’ll wait forever. And we don’t have that kind of time to waste.”

“You’re coming up on an important crossroad in a couple months, and I’m going to need you to do what I tell you, which means you must be able to hear me, which means this stone water well has to come down. It’s a big job, but don’t worry; you won’t have to tackle it alone. Sophie is on her way. Sophie will help you.”

Sophie in the woods (August 2021)

Leave a Comment