Stormy was the dark night

Stormy was the dark night, yet amidst beating raindrops and loud claps of thunder, silence slowly overwhelmed the one room cabin. He sat in the red rocker, warmed by the pot bellied stove upon which he stared vacantly, gently rocked in rhythm to the flickers of the room’s three oil lamps.

It had been a difficult day. He’d sat for hours, moment by moment, perspiration beading on his glistening forehead, dripping from his hair, as he brought all his strength to wrestle and pin down the busyman within. Finally, the silence had overtaken him, and once again he found rest from the struggle.

He had been living in the cabin, really just a hut, for 162 days by then. His life was simple, his actions few, intentionally. Days he wandered the surrounding cactus covered canyons in search of no companionship other than from his new found friends: sunbasking lizards, bull snakes and rattlesnakes, bluebirds, finches, hawks, and owls, fist-sized woolly tarantulas, rabbits galore, and occasionally his larger acquaintances, foxes, bobcats, deer, elk, the she-bear just down the canyon, and the elusive cougar. Friends they had become, at least inasmuch as he had ever experienced friendship, one just as shy and withdrawn as the other.

Other friends he had not, only seldom, and then only by the sheer exercise of mighty force upon his will, venturing into town for supplies. So he wandered, and he wondered. Did those townfolks struggle as well? Any less or more than himself? Once in town he‘d became agitated, consumed by an intense desire to return to his aloneness, away from those who struggled so violently. These last few days it had taken him so long to cease struggling, once again welcoming the return of his silence.