I love my mobile phone (or to our transatlantic cousins, I love my cell phone). Technology is so useful to me and my kind and you will notice it is a theme I will often return to. Today I want to give centre stage to my phone. It is such a brilliant weapon in keeping you on your toes and in a heightened state of confusion.
You will see it repeatedly stuck to my hand as I text away, surf the internet and I will often take calls when I am with you. Naturally, I do this to keep you wondering who I am engaging with and also to show they are more important than you. Other times I will keep the ‘phone about my person, away from your prying eyes. I know you want to look at it and see who has been contacting me so I keep it away from you to increase your frustration. I also don’t want you looking at it and knowing precisely what I have been doing. I will turn it off and claim I could not get a signal so that would aggravate you. I will also say that it is not working and then feign amazement when a call arrives. Other times I have run out of credit (even though I am a contract) so I could not call you. You ask why I did not text. I explain that the texts were not sending for some reason. Other times I pretend to lose it so that’s why I was out of contact although I suddenly find it again soon after. You tell me it just rang and rang (I turned off voicemail and put it on silent) or you managed to leave a message but I explain the voicemail function is not working. It really does provide me with a myriad of methods to infuriate, confuse and unnerve you. My favourite tactic of all however, which really gets to you, is to change my number and not tell you. I usually save that for when I am doling out the silent treatment to you.
Enjoy the Silence is a magnificent song and I hope that Depeche Mode won’t mind me using a picture of their cover. I remember when I first heard this song in February 1990 (yes it is over 25 years old) and not only did I think it was a superb song it epitomised my view of silence. I wrote about how I use silence as a weapon, it is my silent assassin. I enjoy using it because my first deployment of it indoctrinates you to a way of thinking. There are, however, other reasons why I enjoy it.
Firstly, I don’t have to do anything. Yes that’s right. I don’t have to say or do a thing. I just walk away and stay away from you. I love anything that saves me energy whilst provoking a reaction in you and that is why the silent treatment is one of my favourite, if not my favourite method of getting to you. I also know that you won’t just shrug your shoulders and think “Oh well, he will get in touch when he is ready to, I will just get on with my life.” I know this because your type just do not do that. You care about other people so if you think something is wrong (and especially if you then begin to think that you are the cause) you will do anything you can to try and ascertain what has happened and then repair it. That means that you will not stay away. You see, I have it all worked out.
Secondly, once I have given you a concentrated and potent dose of the silent treatment you will be ever anxious to avoid a repeat. You hated it so much you will always be alert to it happening again. This puts you in a state of hypervigilance. You cannot settle. You are anxious. You are always looking to see if there is a trigger for it happening again. You start to try and second guess me to ensure what you are about to say or what you are about to do won’t result in you being consigned to silence again. Thus you become compliant and will do what I want in order to keep silence at bay. Very effective wouldn’t you say? With a couple of ex-girlfriends and a work colleague who I had subjected to the silent treatment, when I was about to do it again, I left them a copy of the Depeche Mode CD and then walked away. The power surge I experienced when I did that was immense.
When I first subject you to the silent treatment the effect on you is devastating. You repeatedly try to contact me and speak to me to find out what is wrong. What has caused this sudden dropping of the shutters when only the day before we were lying in bed together as I told you how I was so pleased to have finally found the one? Your need to know is so great that it completely overrides any sense of embarrassment or decorum on your part. You call my phone again and again and again. You call my work phone repeatedly but find my secretary (one of my loyal lieutenants) will block you by explaining every time that I am in a meeting. You will call around at my house. I can see you through a gap in the blinds as you hammer on the door and then pace backwards and forwards, frustration and confusion writ large on your face. The text messages pile up. My email inbox begins to bulge and you start shoving letters through my letterbox. I do actually read them as they give me a magnificent sense of importance as I read your questions.
Inevitably the tenor of your attempts to contact me alters. From starting with questions such as “What is wrong?” and “Is something the matter?” you then begin to examine yourself. You query what you might have done to upset me and cause this cessation. Without fail, every time I have deployed this weapon, you have scrutinised yourself to such a degree that you eventually find something that could have caused my reaction. You do this, demeaning yourself, because you need to have an answer as to why this has happened. You must. If you cannot get an answer from me then you turn on yourself and find it there. “I’m sorry I didn’t cook your steak the way you like it” or “I’m sorry I left without kissing you” or “I’m sorry I used the last of the milk and did not replace it”. Then come the promises to make things up to me if I will just get in touch. The promises not to do it again and to be a better person. The pattern is the same every time ; demand an answer from me, find an answer within yourself and then show contrition and desire to improve. Once you have passed through those three stages then I know you have become indoctrinated with the way I want you to think and then and only then will I end the silence. Well, perhaps, another week won’t hurt me will it?
Dr O asked me how I choose to lash out. I corrected her straight away. I do not lash out. That suggests a loss of control. I do not lose control. She accepted my point. I think she is beginning to realise who has the greater intellect in these sessions and is bowing to my superiority. I also noticed she was wearing a short skirt again. I think she is doing that in an attempt to distract me when we are having a discussion. Not so fast good doctor, your legs are good, defined and toned but their comely diversion is not going to win you this battle. Having conceded her error she tried again and asked when I wish to hurt somebody what method do I most often use to do so? This interested me as I had never considered that I have one that I use most often since I like to deploy the entire arsenal I have available. Not all at once, but over time with those who have injured me. Of course, certain weapons are not applicable in some scenarios. After all, I am hardly going to withdraw from bedding a colleague of the same sex am I?
Sometimes it is rage, other times I withdraw affection or sex. On other occasions it is belittling or odious comparisons to others. Then again, I may commence an affair and lack any discretion in doing so. I might decide to break or throw away a precious possession or spread some nasty comments. There is a wide range of harmful actions I might take. I sat thinking these through prompting Dr O to ask “Have I stumped you, you have fallen silent.”
I smiled as realisation dawned. The method I used the most was the silent treatment. It is fantastic. It requires minimal effort (always a good thing) and can be used immediately. What I like most about it is the fact that the recipient will have no idea whatsoever why I am doing it. This really messes with their mind. They cannot understand why I will not communicate with them as they cannot work out what they have done to receive this treatment. If they had any understanding of me, they would just walk away and let me get on with it. That would annoy me as they would no longer be giving me any attention so I would halt the silent treatment as it was no longer working. Instead, they HAVE to know and understand why I have gone silent. It burrows into their minds and twists away as they ask question after question. I can see them wracking their brains to establish what has caused this treatment. I see them mentally flicking through what has been said and done, ascertaining different scenarios as they helplessly grope for an answer. The not knowing slaughters them. I can keep it up for weeks if need be and the longer it goes on the more desperate they are to achieve an answer. Their increasing frustration fuels me and spurs me on to maintain this condition. Marvellous. I have broken several people this way and when I choose to end the silence, their eruption of gratitude fills me with a huge sense of power.
Yes, this weapon of choice really is the silent killer.