Image: Whisper – Cuchotement by Frédérique Voisin-Demery
Imposterrrrr. The whisper escapes from my medicine cabinet as I reach for my toothbrush.
Imposterrrrr. It snakes around the mugs in my cupboard as I grab my favorite.
Imposterrrrr. It is what I hear from my closet at night. It wafts in through the wall vents riding on the heat. It resounds through the hallways after I leave a class having not spoken.
On walks home, the whispers fight against my jacket like the cold. They try to hold my hand through my gloves. I can hear them over my headphones, through the noise of the wind.
At my apartment, the words manage to sneak in past the front door as I drop my bag on the linoleum entrance. They vanish into dark corners and into the nooks with doors, ready to spill out at me when I need a fresh towel.
I crack a beer and a book and I know the words are behind me, pulsing and throbbing. I fall asleep on the couch, lights on, so that they cannot come at me in the darkness.
Until one day I rise, and I feel the words surround me in the shower. I see them in the steam on the mirror; in the kitchen, they fall off of my shelf and into my oatmeal.
I look the words in the eyes and I say, “okay.” They pause; their rhythm collectively halts. So I say it again, “Okay.”
Without the expectations to perform, there are no conventions within which to conform. “You’ve freed me,” I tell the words and the apartment grows quiet. I can feel the whispers leaving through the cracks in the windows and through the fan above the stove. “Thank you,” I say. And I sit down to write.