So … is the word most people use when trying to break an awkward silence. Fuck you is the term most people use when trying to break my awkward silence. Or when they give up on trying to break my silence. I’m not sure. They say the shortest distance between two people is a story. Well the longest distance between two people is my silence. My silence is so big it could eclipse the entire universe. My silence is so big it could fill all emotional voids of the 7 billion living humans on earth right now and then some. It’s like a hole, the more you take away from it, the bigger it gets! My silence is when I talk about feminism it agitates you, but when a man does, it totally makes sense!!!! Right…? My silence is I speak in question marks, commas, riddles, because uncertainty is a sign of weakness, and BuzzFeed said men find strong women intimidating… My silence is the reason I watched too many people slip away through the cages our fingers built after intertwining ever so perfectly. It’s the reason I watched too many parts of me being ripped away by every person I ever got attached to but eventually lost. Sometimes I wish I could blame my silence on someone else. Wish I could say it’s the result of growing up between men who felt emasculated when they had to say no, felt emasculated when they heard me say no. Men who felt empowered when they heard a girl say yes or sorry. I’m sorry… I’m sorry I didn’t speak up when I watched words tumbling down my mother’s mouth heavily scented with my father’s opinion. I’m sorry I didn’t speak up when a man pushed me to a wall, grabbed me by my waist and wrapped his hands around me. I’m sorry for every time I felt the word no pushing against my skin, rushing through my veins, trying to escape, but only ever letting it out as a tear, a sweat, a trembling hand, a jiggling leg, a shaking heart, a lost voice. I spent hours trying to push the blame on someone else and if I said I was able to pin it on my father or on this idea of the sweet obedient oriental girl that he bestowed upon me as a child, does that mean I’m lying to myself? And if I am… then who do I owe my apology to? I spent hours trying to push the blame on someone else until I mastered the art of insomnia. And insomnia… insomnia is the ugliest form of self-pity, it’s lying on your bed wondering what you could have or should have said. No actually insomnia is the prettiest form of self-pity, it’s thoughts louder than the flickering of neon tubes on subway stations, louder than the sirens of a police car on a quiet night. Insomnia is a bunch of words begging to escape this emergency exit of a mouth.
Insomnia is these words finally finding their way out.
Mariam Rasheed is an Egyptian painter who lived until 2015 in Egypt. She move to Berlin to study. She began using spoken word poetry 2016 as another creative expressive outlet other than painting.