Monday, February 29, 2016

Reader's Diary #1266- Maclean Patrick: The Silent Whisper

I enjoy finding unexpectedly universal moments. Like deja vu. Like old couples who communicate without hardly any words. Like being 53 million in debt and begging Mark Zuckerberg for a loan.

The tagline of Maclean Patrick's blog refers to him as "A Daily Writer [who] Speaks about his Daily Nonsense." The interesting thing about his short story "The Silent Whisper" is that Malaysia is almost irrelevant. There's a moment in the beginning when he describes the heat at 3 a.m., when he describes then looking out the window and seeing so many people still moving about, that doesn't seem like a typical Canadian experience. Perhaps if one lived downtown in Toronto during a heatwave, I suppose, but certainly nothing I connect with.

However, it's the plot that hits close to home. The narrator's woken up and knows falling back to sleep will be a chore. And at such an awkward hour, he knows he'll be exhausted the next morning. Man, how many times have I been there?

Then he's visited by a spectral, whispering form, who demands an answer. To what we're never told, but it sounds a lot like she's a grim reaper and the word "suicide" is like the elephant in the room.

Taken literally then, it's a supernatural tale. But I think, at its heart, it's of those insomniac nights when the pressures and stress haunt us and the dark thoughts are never far behind.

Malaysians and Canadians alike have, unfortunately, experienced that.

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