Anatomy of conversations | Inquirer Opinion

Anatomy of conversations

/ 05:09 AM September 18, 2023

Conversations form the very fibers that weave together our experiences, relationships, and innermost thoughts. They possess an anatomy uniquely their own, each one a complex interplay of words, emotions, and unspoken layers. These conversations, like living organisms, shape us, leaving indelible imprints on our hearts and minds. As time marches on, they become fragments of memories, etched deeply within the recesses of our souls.

I grew up as an observant kid, sitting in silence, reading my environment, the people around me, and the conversations made. I simply remember everything. It’s like every time something happens, my brain will automatically save every bit of information down to the very last one. My brain is a library, an archive of conversations once said to me.

This unique trait bestowed upon me a gift and a burden. A gift because I could relive conversations vividly, extracting nuances and meanings that often eluded others. A burden because, at times, the weight of all these conversations felt like an overwhelming library of emotions, a cacophony of voices echoing in my mind.


I remember the tense, heated exchanges between my parents during those nights, their words like jagged shards cutting through the air. Those conversations painted a picture of their struggles, their inability to communicate, and the fractures within our home. Each argument became a scar etched into my upbringing.


I also recall the times I was bullied so terribly at school, the hurtful words and laughter that pierced through my self-esteem. Those conversations painted a picture of cruelty, of the power that words held to wound and isolate. Each insult became a bruise imprinted on my sense of self-worth.

But it wasn’t just the profound conversations that left their mark. The seemingly mundane exchanges, the casual banter with friends on lazy afternoons while eating fishball and kwek-kwek, the laughter shared over silly jokes while playing online games—they all found their place in the vast archive of my mind. They shaped the fabric of my friendships and my identity.


Conversations, with their unique anatomy, possess the power to heal or wound, to connect or separate. They are composed of more than just words. Inflections, tones, and silences interweave, shaping the emotional resonance of each exchange. The unspoken words, the pregnant pauses—they hold weight, adding depth and nuance to the conversation’s skeleton.

As I grew older, I found solace in revisiting these conversations, like turning the pages of a cherished book. They became a source of reflection and understanding, allowing me to unravel the hidden meanings and emotions that threaded through the words spoken.

Yet, the burden remained. The weight of conversations I couldn’t forget, the moments I wished I could rewrite, the words I longed to say but never did. The past, present, and future converged within me, a collection of voices that refused to fade into the background.

Oh, the conversations we didn’t have! I find myself rehearsing conversations that will never take place. I write speeches, imagining the reactions, the smiles, the tears, and the understanding that might have blossomed if only the words had found their way from my thoughts to the air. I dissect the unspoken, haunted by the haunting presence of what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. “What if I had spoken those words?” “What if I had taken that action?” Would such choices alter the course of my existence? Could they potentially enhance my reality? But reality remains a stubborn thing, and the past cannot be rewritten, conversations cannot be undone.

The anatomy of these conversations reveals not just the pain of missed opportunities, but also the artistry of forgiveness. The realization dawns that as much as I hold onto my own unsaid words, others, too, may have their own locked away. Perhaps there were intentions I misinterpreted, feelings they never revealed, bridges they were unable to cross.

And so, as I stand at the crossroads of conversations past and those yet to come, I am left with a question that reverberates within me: What conversations do I want to be defined by? Will I allow the fear of unspoken words to hold me back, or will I take the reins of my own narrative and choose to engage, understand, and bridge the gaps that separate me from others?

This is what I’m certain of—my stories, your stories, and our stories are simply fragments of an infinite dialogue that knows no final punctuation.


Jell, 20, is a visionary with a passion for both creation and the virtual realm of video games.\

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