The Quiet WorldIn an effort to get people to lookinto each other’s eyes more,and also to appease the mutes,the government has decidedto allot each person exactly one hundred and sixty-seven words, per day.When the phone rings, I put it to my ear without saying hello. In the restaurant I point at chicken noodle soup.I am adjusting well to the new way.Late at night, I call my long distance lover, proudly say I only used fifty-nine today. I saved the rest for you.When she doesn’t respond,I know she’s used up all her words, so I slowly whisper I love youthirty-two and a third times.After that, we just sit on the line and listen to each other breathe.
― Jeffrey McDaniel,
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