It was hard to believe now, but once everyone who knew him opined that he talked too much. The common descriptions of chatterbox, mouthy bastard and, always with a tone of resigned exasperation, guy who never shut the fuck up, had been aired on a regular basis. It wasn’t that he was the life and soul of conversation – just that he seemed to love the sound of his own voice, and wanted to share his opinions with anyone fool enough to listen.
Those days were long gone now.
Nobody I spoke to could recall exactly when the dramatic change took place. Some thought it had occurred around the time of his failure to find work in his dream profession. Others reckoned his tonsillectomy had had something to do with it, though that seemed a bit of a reach. Most couldn’t come up with even a slightly plausible explanation as to the cause or date of the transformation.
All had been shocked when they had first discovered his silence.
There had never been any question of it being a temporary pause. Everyone had known, purely by his demeanour and abject expression, that a tremendous and lasting void had beset him. Not one person could escape the immediate impression that he was in the grip of something inexorable, something irresistible, something total.
He has not spoken a word, in company at least, for approximately 5 years.
It is my intention – no, my mission – to find out why.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…