Coming of age.

That was awfully loud in his right ear. He couldn’t count the decibels. The wall wasn’t as wide, or thick, as he imagined it would be. He banged on the wall to draw attention but the occupant at the other end banged three times as hard.

He wanted a little time to think. Books and television were of no consolation.

The sound – pounding, disturbing, penetrating.

The same words he described silence.

If he couldn’t think in his head, how could he think?

He took a blank A2 piece of paper and a pair of scissors from his drawer, and cut the paper in quarters.

With one quarter of the paper, he made an airplane. He threw it out of the window only to see it curve off into one corner of the building. With the next, a boat. He filled up his bathtub halfway and placed the boat on the water. He simulated waves by pushing his right hand through the water. With his mouth, he tried to make the sound of crashing waves. The third piece of paper he made a hat. He had hoped the noise would drown out if he wore it. But the side of the hat barely touched the north ends of his ears. He looked silly, upon seeing himself in the mirror. He sighed, and tried to blow off the hat with his breath. It didn’t work so he kept it on.

He had one piece of paper left. He scribbled some words on it. He found an old wooden picture frame under his bed months ago and previously didn’t know what to put in it. All the photos he loved and cherished were already framed. With excitement, he placed the piece of paper in the frame. He then nailed it on the wall where the noise was coming from. The frame became both his sword and shield.

Now he could think. Baseball cards and peanut butter. And Bella. He mainly thought of Bella. He jumped on his bed and continued thinking. Bella had long brown hair, and was a fine sprinter. One of his favorite things about her was the way the sun rays cast a shadow on the dimple on her right side when she smiled. Bella made a habit of tilting her head a bit when she smiled, so the cast of the shadow always changed. Her cheeks were a world in itself. Bella’s dimple resembled a crater to assure him that boys and girls both come from Mars.

He gazed outside his window wondering where the airplane landed. The noise at the other end of the wall remained, but it wasn’t as overbearing. He took off his hat and closed his eyes. He repetitively whispered what he scribbled on that piece of paper, as he hears the soothing sound of the frame rattling.

I’m my own sort of loud. I’m my own sort of loud. I’m my own sort of loud.

I’m my own

of loud.

Coming of age.

Zaldy Infante

Melbourne, Australia

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