Quiet one

“Watch out for the quiet ones,” my teachers and parents used to say about me, to the amusement of the other elders in the room. Sure, I was coloring at my desk at the moment, but my little mind was probably hatching a plan to make havoc with the status quo, switching up the room decor later on; who could possibly find out the culprit was I? “Have a quiet one,” my Coast Guard dad used to urge the night watchstanders on his ship, both in Vietnam and at home. I understand that wellwishing phrase better now. “A quiet one” connotes a night of cooing peace, blanketed security, no alarms and subsequent sirens, no insistent howling, no gray grief, only serenity in the waiting, while (do you remember this in old movie theatres?) the velvet drapes slowly, theatrically part, then the filmy, semi-sheer curtains lift, and... “in the morning there is joy.”
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