SILENCE IS DEAFENING.
Yes, the one thing nobody tells you about being a hermit is that when the expectations and contacts come to an end, when you can finally spend your evenings cycling towards sunsets and your nights cuddled in warm blankets next to a playing movie, the silence will deafen you. When there is no one to force your growth or manipulate you out of character, when you finally become your best (and possibly only) friend, that silence will creep past the now decaying walls made of decades of friendship, right into where it should be between your ears, and it will deafen you.
They never tell you that silence will scream at you all the reasons why humans are social beings. That you will laugh while watching movies, pick your phone to share the joke and there will be no willing friend at the other side of the screen. That memes will live and die in your gallery, unseen. That outings will be bland. That you will miss the sound of your slight stammer each time you hear the croak of your voice. That all the rooms in your mind, once occupied by laughter and love, will smell of dead butterflies and wilting roses.
They never tell you that the ghosts of your dead friendships and relationships will haunt your existence. That you are going to see them in albums and tweets and updates that no more reek of thoughts of you. That when you say “Hello”, no “Hi” will be warm. That the sharpened but cold edges of these dead contacts will cut into your conscience, that guilt will trip you through every second and leave you broken, and broken, and broken. That you will never forgive yourself.
They never tell you that when you emerge from your cave, it will be almost too late. That missed birthdays and unread messages will glare back at you, and the guilt will almost break you once again. That there is life outside of your cave, and it goes on even when your clock is frozen.
Yes, what they never tell you about being a hermit is that peace is not happiness.
Hadiya Aliyu Tilde
02 September, 2020