Things Can Change in a Day

Estha had always been a quiet child, so no one could pinpoint with any degree of accuracy exactly when (the year, if not the month or day) he had stopped talking. Stopped talking altogether, that is. The fact is that there wasn't an "exactly when." It had been a gradual winding down and closing shop. A barely noticeable quietening. As though he had simply run out of conversation and had nothing left to say. Yet Estha's silence was never awkward. Never intrusive. Never noisy. It wasn't an accusing, protesting silence as much as a sort of estivation, a dormancy, the psychological equivalent of what lungfish do to get themselves through the dry season, except that in Estha's case the dry season looked as though it would last forever.

Over time he had acquired the ability to blend into the background of wherever he was--into bookshelves, gardens, curtains, doorways, streets--to appear inanimate, almost invisible to the untrained eye. It usually took strangers awhile to notice him even when they were in the same room with him. It took them even longer to notice that he never spoke. Some never noticed at all.

Estha occupied very little space in the world.

did the world stop giving estha space
or did estha withdraw from the world

but whichever occurs first,
when the world stops giving you space, you'll begin to withdraw
when you withdraw first
the world is not going to go down with you and with it and
it will eventually stop
giving you space
to occupy

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