dark languages

We shared a secret language, she and I. We'd talk in lines at the grocery store and get weird and dirty looks from the locals--What language is that? What are they saying about us? Why can't they speak English? Which we did, of course, but we seldom used it. Why use it when you've already got a language to speak? And one far more beautiful and eloquent, too.

There are concepts that just don't have direct translations to English in a lot of languages--we had concepts that didn't have translations from ours. Nobody but the two of us could even express them as ideas. It was beautiful in its own little way. It was how we shared secrets, how everything happened.

I wish I could say we had a falling out, but mostly we just drifted apart. She moved to Chicago, I went back west. At first we called every day, then we just emailed, then one or the other of us got busy and the correspondences dropped off. Emails we meant to write never got sent.

And we wrote less and less in our secret language. I tried to keep in practice but it was hard getting a hold of her for it. Neither of us had time for much of a conversation. I could feel it slipping. Ideas that we once shared exclusively seemed to fade--or, worse, I'd keep the word but lose the ability to describe it or use it.

After a few years she sent me a letter in English. "I don't understand anymore. It's gone. Maybe we can try to get it back?"

But she was right. It's gone. A secret that wouldn't even die with us.

1 comment:

AKA Tha Schust said...

The "secret language being lost" is a nice metaphor for losing touch with someone. A++ would buy again.

Just a thought - almost all of your stories are interior monologues punctuated by brief snippets of external dialogue. I'd be very interested in seeing a flashfic that's entirely dialogue. Lots of self-deprecating and self-concealing statements from one (or both!) of the characters.