Mute & Haze Box Set
Excerpt from Mute
The ideas were rushing through me almost too fast to comprehend them myself. I needed to keep talking to keep the momentum going. “Why don’t I take a year off? But not from work. From life.”
“You want to take a year off from life? I don’t get it, Rebecca.”
“Yeah. Yeah. I mean, okay, so what if I create a challenge for myself? The magazine is big on challenges. We’re always giving people challenges to do in order to improve themselves. Why don’t I do one myself? Oh, and why don’t I write about it? That way, you still get articles from me each month.”
“But what would the articles be about? What’s the challenge?”
“To not talk to anyone for a year.” My smile grew wider. Given the current circumstances, it possibly made me look more maniacal than happy, but I couldn’t help myself. The more I thought about my new idea, the happier I became.
“What? Rebecca, you’re losing it. Why would you want to do that?”
“Why not? Think about it, it’ll be great. I’ll work from home for the next year. I’ll still do whatever you need done, but I’ll also provide you with an article each month, or each week—whichever you prefer—detailing my progress. Come on, wouldn’t it be interesting to see if a human being can go from living a normal life in society, to suddenly not speaking to anyone for a full year? I think the readers would love it too.” I needed her to think about the readers.
“But how can you not talk to anyone? How will you go shopping? How will you get by? Surely you have to talk to someone? What about emails? How can I give you work if I’m not talking to you?”
“You email me what you want done and I send it to you. But we don’t interact over email other than for work. And shopping? Why do I need to talk to anyone? I just buy and pay. I’ll spend my year writing and getting to know myself. I’ll come out of it a whole new person. I’m sure of it. I think I need this. I know it sounds crazy. But maybe a bit of crazy is what I need.”
Bubbles was staring at me now. She clearly thought I was mental, but there was also a glint in her eyes. Perhaps there was a part of her that thought I was being serious. She sat like that for a while, just staring at me and trying to make sense of it all. This was not the direction the meeting was supposed to take.
“Nine months,” she finally said.
“Nine months. A year is too long. Do it for nine months. But you have to commit to this, Rebecca. If we are going to put it in the magazine I can’t have you changing your mind in a month and making us look like idiots. If you really want to do this, then you have to do it properly. I’ll support you, because I think you’re a great writer. And I also think you’re just the right amount of crazy to pull this off.”
The reality was sinking in. “Really? You’re going to let me do this?”
“I am, but, Becs—” Her voice softened. “It’s not going to be easy, you know.”
That was nine months ago.
Today marks the day the whole project comes to an end.
I have dreamed about this moment. I’ve wondered how I would react when I finally finished what I had started. I thought I’d scream. Jump for joy. Run out and talk to the first person on the street. Instead, I just sat there by myself. I knew I’d be different—it was impossible not to change after something this drastic—I hadn’t known I’d be this different. I sat there for a while, taking it all in.