The Constant

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Words || Masumi Parmar

In science we learnt about
white noise.
How it is several noises at different frequencies.
How it drowns out sound because your brain can’t decipher it all simultaneously.
How it’s loud and meaningless.

My head, dense and heavy
saturated beyond comprehension.
I can’t take in anymore noise.
I cannot understand anymore noise.

But outside it is quiet,
my mother cannot comprehend what I mean,
when I say it’s too loud,
in my head.

Because all she hears is
the cars driving past our
red mini cooper;
the only car parked at the side of the road.

All my mother understands is that her daughter
does not remember how to use
her hands.
I can’t lower them from my ears.

They’re still soft to touch but stubborn,
they’re begging whoever has snuck into my head
to stop,
to stop the constant buzzing so I can remember again.
I hear my heart beat loudly in my ears,
my cupped hands only making the thuds
echo.

That’s always one of the first signs other than
the constant
roaring.


    The chattering,
    the whirlwind of
    a few hundred frequencies
    in a red room.

    Too many aspects of life trying to be the most prominent.
    Only to be drowned out by another.

    The spotlight shifts from
    the lights of cars driving past,
    to the sound of my mother’s voice
    to the shape of my hands,
    to the feel of my hair tickling my neck,
    to the smell of the new leather seats —
    I can’t focus on anything.


And that
is how you end up on the floor of a parking lot.

A version of myself
stares back at me
from the chrome in the tyre–
    I can’t comprehend who that girl is,



my mind is fighting to slow down.
My tears start to drown me,
I just can’t understand.

Then almost like it never happened,
my mind is clear
like a pearl being washed
by the gentle waves of the shore;
surface clean and shining-

    The switch clicked back into its spot

    “Was it because I focused on my breathing?
    Was is it because I self-medicated?
    Was is it because I’m thinking of the woman I love?
    Was it because I found the knob in the dark?
    All by myself?”

I can hear
the cars softly driving past ours;
the red mini cooper parked at the side of the road.


It’s like the noise never existed.