The Sound of One Heart Breaking by Karen Kunawicz

Ever come across this zen koan that JD Salinger used in one of his books? You know, the one that asks what is the sound of one hand clapping. I don't know the answer to that one. But ask me what's the sound of one heart breaking and I might have an answer. Welcome to the dark side of love. What is the sound of one heart breaking? It is the sound of someone curled up in a tiny ball crying softly in the night, the sound of the first unwanted teardrop touching your skin, it's the sound of a telephone that doesn't ring, the sound of regret pounding inside your brain with every heartbeat, it's the whispers of the toy animals she gave you. It's the shuffling of feet walking away from you, the sound of your soul shattering into a million pieces at recognizing the word "goodbye," it's the soundtrack of memories torturing you, it's the sound of feeble hands trying to push back the obstinate hands of time, it's the sound of a cherub's dying breath, the sound of all those years disappearing in the vortex of Cupid's kitchen sink, it's the unrelenting, plaintive baby meows of an abandoned kitten outside an ignoring door. It's the sound of the rain that doesn't ever stop, the sound of all the doors in the world shutting and closing in your face at the same time, of raging, howling storms in the night when there's no one there to hold you, the sound of your voice as it screams back at you, the echo of "I love you" burning holes in you, the sound your heart makes as it tells you to lie still because nothing you will ever do will matter without love. The sound of the waves at the polluted beach you went to as it moves from the shore and crashes inside your mind, of the sniffles that make up your pathetic "SOS-to-the-world," the cracking of the brittle black-red petals from the sidewalk vendor roses she gave, the sound of the music she used to make going to your gut. The sound of things in your room being thrown around and landing on the floor, the caress of sharpened kitchen knives on skin, the sound your throat makes as you swallow your saltiest tear. It's the sound of your own voice calling out to someone who isn't there, of winged creatures dying and falling on a city pavement, of terms of endearment used a hundred times a day struggling to crawl into a vacuum of forgetfulness, it's the sound of your own sobs keeping you company, it's the cold, uncaring stillness of the air you share your space with. Destruction isn't always as noisy as bombs exploding. Sometimes the ultimate catastrophes are as quiet as feather falling on the floor of a Zen monastery. No one else can really hear your heart breaking except you.

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