Silence in a Noisy City

The street noise between New Yorkers will always be a shared conversation we can not drown out. We are forever powerless over the jackhammer, the crash over the pothole, the boombox on a traveler's shoulder; the only silence we can experience exists between two people.

I became incredibly grateful for the silence that arose after a misunderstanding with an old friend. Not at first, and I never thought I would say this but silence has opened up my heart, removed a veil from eyes, made me a better person, demanded my soul renew its constitution with love in this noisy metropolis.

In the process of experiencing the quiet inside my head with another, I asked myself if I had purposefully blocked out anyone in my life? Because silence hurts deeply. It is meant to. It is the great tool of the close minded who will not come back to shake hands, talk it out or see where discussion can evolve. It is the unspoken declaration "You are dead to me," but what a gift. It asked me to take action in my own life where I could, instead of exhaustively problem solve in a place where it was rejected.

I began to ask myself walking through the theater district: Had I been silent when a response was requested, required or suggested? Had I been kind and vocal and loving and tolerant enough... and then I took action. Yes, I made a list. I realized I had been too silent with some. I later called a family member, a few friends, reached out or responded on email to anyone I felt had not received the attention they deserved or had even made me angry.

In New York City, sometimes friends and their meaning get lost in the fray. People can disappear without a big "to do" because they were just part of an era; members of a different gay landscape from our drinking adventures in the East Village, part of our team on Wall Street, our dancing days at Au Bar and shared miles in a school uniform. Usually, there's no emotional toll, there is an unspoken social carpe diem at times. It's all been so noisy for so long.

Then one day someone that matters steps off the roundabout in silence. We can sit, muse and reflect but eventually we must take action, and go about the task we write about on making our lives happen in NYC. Get ready for a noisy day my friends, honor the silence and spread love where you can...