I Want To Skip The Small Talk & Know The Depths Of Your Being


I’ve never been good at small talk.

The tiny, insignificant pieces of the day passed on to another’s ear to save from silence, to seek connection.

I’d rather be alone.

I don’t need to explain what the weather was like upon waking. I don’t need to know who wore it best or whose tag rests upon the back of their neck. I don’t need to hear about construction or traffic or the latest killing in this country, what evil tweet our president just sent.

I love talk — just not in small ways. I prefer to engage.

I want the secrets and the thoughts that have been trapped just inside your lips. I want to know what the air tastes like in the midst of your dreams. I want to know what you longed to be, or see or what you wished for when you blew out the candles on your birthday cake as a child. I want you to tell me about your day in slow motion — the thought process, not the detailed step-by-step, minute-by-minute (too small measurements).

I’d like a list of your favorite songs and why they soothe your soul, or what year they bring you back to when you hear that first note. How does the color red make you feel, and what of orange or black? I want answers to questions like, “When do you feel the most complete?” and “At what age did you first begin to love?”

What is something you long for (if you do long)? Do you? What keeps you up at night? Perhaps the same hours I’m robbed of sleep. I wonder, do we think the same things? What are your worries or fears?

I want to listen to your heartbeat. I want to put you to sleep. Tell me, what do you see in the middle of your nightmare? Who or what do you name fate?

I don’t want to hear about your dinner plans or what show you watched last night on TV. I don’t want to talk about sales at stores or lists of groceries, what bills are due, or how many pounds of weight you gained or lost.

I want to know what it feels like when you’re invisible — when the lights are out and you’re alone in your bed, your chair, in your house that keeps you safe or holds you prisoner.

What does the word “love” mean to you? Who first taught you this word? How many times and different ways have you felt it? How many times has it tangled your thoughts?

And what of innocence and crisp leaves that fall from trees? I want to trace your scars and hear stories of bumps and bruises from childhood. I want to see your eyes light up as you talk of your children and how they’re so completely different than mine.

Tell me, what does the wind sound like in October, and which hand do you write with? Did someone teach you to use that hand or did you choose which hand would first outstretch, grasp, or pull?

Where do you go to escape? I’d like to discuss the lines in your palms and compare fingerprints — leave politics and religion at the door.

Tell me, do you like the smell of balsam fir or sweet roses in summer? Let’s talk of sex and what it feels like when your skin touches another? Does it equal intimacy, passion? Is it separate? Is it compartmentalized?

What is your favorite planet or constellation — do you look up into the night sky? Does it make you feel small, in a beautiful, yet insignificant way?

Do you dream of me? What do I look like inside your head? What spices arouse you, what photos, what music or sounds reach your soul?

I don’t want to hear about your co-workers or the less than desirable customer service you were afforded this afternoon. I want to know what each key is for on your keychain.

Does your hand hold pens and love paper the way I do? Do words form themselves into prose as you walk down the street? Do you find yourself so lost in thought that you trip over cracks in the sidewalks like I do?

And what of death? Does it know you intimately? Do you have God or Gods or Goddesses in which you believe?

I’d like to sit in silence for an hour, just holding your hand, just existing in that moment with you, where nothing feels small except breath and the seconds in between the quiet.

Because nothing is small or boring with you. You may be free and grounded while I stumble.

My dear, perhaps we could be each other’s sanity, in certain moments of stability. In a world where voids are often filled with fodder. Where words themselves lose meaning and we find ourselves adrift.

Where the world is falling underneath my feet — these liminal spaces are where I’d like to meet you. Where we can pause and come back time and time again.

I’d like to ask you —

I’d like to hear you say —

I’d like the sound of —

The way you —

The way we —

Fit into each other’s space.

For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.

Sip a little more:

I Lost Myself In Fear & Found Myself In Tragedy: How To Move With The Missing Pieces

I Want A Home Inside Myself Built With My Own Hands And Love

be brave


Courtney Quinlan

Courtney Quinlan is a lover of words and how you can craft them together, piece by piece and build a story, or a moment in time that speaks to someone. She lives in Vermont, as a single parent, with her son who is on the autism spectrum and advocates fiercely for him and others with disabilities. She volunteers as a parent advocate and editor for The Urban Howl and Wild Heart Writers and is a contributing author of poetry and prose. She can generally be found lost in a whirlwind of creative thought, she is unfiltered and fairly transparent. She is passionate about empowering women and social justice issues. She likes to get crafty, making beaded jewelry and crafts and photography inspired by the natural world around her. She is a sarcastic lover of humor and is blessed to be able to laugh at herself and find the irony in stressful situations. Rarely embarrassed and often clumsy she is practicing the art of vulnerability and can be found just throwing her whole self out there!

  1. Carla Ann Haskay

    Thank you for sharing. As usual your writing strikes deep soul cords. Resonating with love vibrations.💜🐬♊♊🐬💜

  2. Elio Chavez, Jr.

    I love this. What a singing bowl would say if it spoke.

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