Noise and Silence

Silence always abandons an aeroplane. Always. Like an unfaithful friend he departs as soon as the plane begins to ruffle it feathers and stretches out it’s wings to take to the air it was made to float upon. Maybe the people residing in the pressurised warmth of the plane are quiet, entertaining their polite conversations of holiday plans and the whether, but silence never presents itself like it usually would. It remains broodingly at sea level, glaring up at the plane in resentment, wanting to fly, but not understanding how the hell to get there.
I’ve always imagined silence to be a very hazardous man. A genius who hasn’t bothered to learn the complicated procedures of a comb. A very Einstein like figure. Tall and thin, but not pointed. He’s quite rude and quite frank. He cares not for your uncomfortableness and he’s never by your side to make you feel better, even though he can and occasionally will. He’s snappish and proper. A gentleman in most respects, but he won’t take any of your shit either, he’s also wonderful with children.
Unlike his brother in arms Noise travels with the plane. He obnoxiously fills the cramped space and imagines ways to tease Silence about not coming with. He dances through the isles and whispers in the ears of his company. Despite his overly jovial actions he loathes to fly. When he comes upon the plane he knows he will be drowned out, he will be ignored. His insistent babble with become tuned out, just background sound to add to the pile. He wears a tweed suit, and unlike silence he is presentable, his hair combed and neat and his face cleans shaven. He wears a bowler hat and keeps a pistol in a holster under his coat. He’s not violent, just insecure. His hair is long and brown, held in a small pony tail at the back of his head. His grin is toothy and beautiful, he is also wonderful with children.
Despite common advertisements of their differences Silence and Noise are good friends. Silence will come to the airport to meet Noise when he gets off the plane. Often looking dishevelled and grumpy, his white lab coat wrinkled from its usual steamed press, his spectacles askew on his nose. This happened to be because, geniuses don’t get a lot of sleep, Silence included. Occasionally the plane would arrive late or be delayed and Noise would have to buy him coffee to make it up to him.
When seen together, they look normal, normal eccentrics roaming streets and annoying one another as best they can. When seen apart they look strange and mad. Especially Silence who never looked quite right, at least when Noise keeps his mouth shut he looks vaguely average, if not a little creepy. They will return home, when Noise returns from his flight, back go their small house, right in the middle of the line between outskirts and central. Somewhere where Silence could have his silence and somewhere where Noise could have his noise.
Even though they are the opposite of one another they are much the same. Silence is stubborn and so is Noise. Both will take you’re coat when you enter their house. Both will offer their seat on the bus to an older person. Both are perfectly willing to hand your ass back to you if given a good enough reason. Yes, their mannerisms and personality are different, one scowls the other grins. One has four doctorates, the other can throw a football father than anyone I am have yet come across. And yet they are so similar. They can make you cry, they can beat you, force upon you your own faults and others as well. They can make you calm and comfortable and happy and sad, and they can do it just as well as the other. Silence will dance with you, as will noise. They will stay by your side and you will have to let them, because if you don’t you will be left with nothing and Nothing is even more tedious than Silence is when devoid of caffeine. Nothing will stare at you blankly until you are so agitated you can’t sit still.
Sometimes Silence will be called to come forth and appear at a science conference to display his most resent research, on these occasions Noise will accompany him, because it is common knowledge for all who know him, Silence doesn’t fare well with actual human interaction, on most counts at least. He gets all fidgety and irritable. He will either get snappy or stutter when he thinks something is being asked of him if it is anyone, but Noise. So Noise acts as an interpreter until Silence gets a hang of being a person in public. He usually goes home when Silence is so deep in a conversation about the nuclear physics of subatomic particles that he has forgotten to push his glasses back up his nose. He waits until Silence returns from the conference, usually high on information and smelling of high class brandy. He’ll stumble in at some early hour to find his friend sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee in his out stretched hand. When this happens he will take the coffee and sit on the hotel room sofa and Noise will turn off the television. Noise will tell Silence about his day, and maybe Silence will add a few comments on his own. It will last until the early hours when they both fall asleep and don’t awaken for a good 48 hours at least.
It is an urban legend that Noise is incapable of being quite, just as it is that Silence doesn’t talk. They are both perfectly capable of talking for hours on end and remaining quite for days, they simply don’t wish to, because it is their nature. Noise doesn’t talk to make up for Silence’s listening and Silence doesn’t keep his mouth shut to make way for Noise. They will look after each other, they will save each other from awkward or distressing situations, but neither is better. They are equal. They dance the same dance, they just do it do to a different melody.
Of course some people prefer Silence to Noise and Noise to Silence, but they are a pair. You can not have one without the other. You cannot dance in a club with Noise without Silence watching fondly and you cannot dance with Silence in an empty ballroom without Noise playing the music you swing to.
Noise occasionally goes through periods of deep self loathing. His friends will try to console him, make him feel better, make him eat something. He knows they mean well, but they don’t understand. They huddle in whispering groups, just out of his earshot like frightened hens. They gossip and they worry until they can’t worry anymore and usually leave feeling unfulfilled. Only Silence understands. Only Silence can reach him. His often tragic looking friend will cook him some of his marvellous desserts and buy three tubs of bad chocolate ice cream. They will sit on their sofa in silence, eating from the tub with two spoons. Silence will talk quietly about his latest experiment, or perhaps he latest awkward endeavour. He was always bumping into first date couples and teenage boys trying to get some with their hot next door neighbour. He knew that Noise liked to be in his own element, he liked to listen, not just talk. Silence wouldn’t try to berate him about lack of appetite, or the fact that he didn’t want to speak with anyone. He wouldn’t force Noise to use the voice he currently despised. They were adults, there was not to treat him like some unhinged teenager.
Like Noise Silence would have his bad days. The days when he would just get so angry at his awkwardness, at his cleverness, at his inability to be strong. Silence was timid and Noise was so much better at being comfortable than he was. He was appreciated and Silence was ridiculed and named a bad decision. Rarely did people embrace him, sometimes he would be gently nursed like a grudge, but rarely truly embraced. He would scream and he would shout and he would throw his test tubes about. Noise would sit quietly in the corner, on one of the lab stools. Listening to his enraged shouts of dispute with the world. Then, eventually, he would get tired and curl up on the floor of his lab and weep until Noise would come and sooth his sobs with kind words and a blanket.
But then there were the good days. The days when comfort foods were in abundance. The days when the quiet people of the world were hiding happily in their libraries and behind their computers or in their science labs. The days when the loud people went out and found other loud people to be loud with. The days when Noise and Silence would sit together comfortably. Noise would talk, Silence would listen and they would do what they would do, hovering in that mysterious grey arrear between noise and silence.

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