Monday, May 3, 2010

Say something!

Ok, there is some old wisdom that I seem to recall, something about "say what you mean, mean what you say." I don't think it could get much simpler than this, but, apparently, this is not such an easy task to perform. It is surprisingly difficult to say what you mean. I watch people (myself included) fumble and trip for the right words to express the right thing at the right time. In fact, I know people who say all of the wrong things just because they're nervous about "getting it right." For instance, remember in first grade when, if you had a crush on someone, you made it a point to beat the sh*t out of them out recess? Makes no sense. Yet it does. The intention was pure, to give attention to someone you're attracted to. The expression, well, it's first grade. Every expression of feeling in first grade is accompanied by either ass-kicking or vomiting, or both.
So, we say the wrong things because there is a block somewhere, a lack of tools while sitting in front of a beautiful pile of mahogany that is begging to be made into a headboard.
Ok, so, what if you have the tools. I always pride myself in having them. I'm a writer for chrissakes, I can express the sh*t out of myself.
Being a writer makes it worse, trust me. I get cocky and think I'm so well-versed that I will have no trouble getting the word out, whatever the word will be. And suddenly, I am tongue tied. Mute, even. And so, instead of doing what a normal person does, which apparently is to work through the difficulty with some simple words, I go straight for the gold hoping to fill the awful void that is created by my inadequate heart.
I start asking questions. Tons and tons of stupid, awkward questions. Boxers or briefs? Sox or Yankees? White collar family or food stamp reliant? Long term or short term? Family secrets or family pride? Organic or boxed?
And that's just for starters. The more I truly want to tell someone I'm enjoying myself in some way, or that I might be softening to their presence, the worse it gets.
So, so much worse.
What is the worst memory you have of your childhood? Why? How come you don't read more fiction? So, do you prefer blondes? Why are you so quiet all of the time?
I think I will stick to the written word and pray for some kind of miracle. Maybe my tongue will fall out in the middle of the night.
Or I will wake up and be cool.

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