“Did you know…?”
“Lately, I’ve been…”
“Do you know what I think? I think…..”
….and then it’s gone.
As I sit here typing away to you, I’m fine; my words come when called-usually. But face to face, it’s another story. I open my mouth and the words scatter, slipping off the table, onto the floor- rolling away into a corner, lost forever; My words disappear just as they are about to spring from my lips-as if they’ve been stricken with a severe case of pre-jump jitters, and they slip down my throat, leaving me stuttering, stammering, and empty. Lately every little word becomes one of about 5 words I use for everything: Cup? Nope. That’s a ‘thingy’. Book? That’s a ‘thingy’ too. Computers are ‘thingymajiggies’, doors are ‘youknowwhatties’. It sounds crazy, and it IS crazy. Perhaps my quack doctor has been experimenting too much with his buffet of behavioral feel good drugs-maybe he’s erasing my ability to say anything. Maybe I shall have to carry a pen and paper with me soon, writing down anything I want to say.
Maybe its me-I’ve always been a bit…preoccupied; I’ve been accused of being too mellow at times, as if I’m under the influence of some herbal bliss.. But I’m sorry to say-it’s just me. I’m one of two extremes-there’s hippy girl, and then there’s Kali. I prefer Kali, she gets things done; but others aren’t so keen on Kali.. With hippy girl, ‘Like’ and ‘so anyway’, have been staples of my silly vocabulary for a very long time. And I don’t mind them, really. ‘Like’ used to really piss my mother off when I was in elementary school-so I began using it more and more, and now, it’s a word tattoo for me. I shall always be the ‘So and Like’ lady-even when I’m a 100! I can see myself-in my floral housedress sitting with the other grannies-telling some tall tale-and stammering on about thingies and whatchamacallits– with ‘like and so’ being the only words that make sense… But lately, things have taken a turn for the worse, so that a conversation with me is like a conversation with a very sleepy, stoned Andy Warhol, unless I’m really angry, then it becomes more of a sermon from the Devil.
I begin nearly every conversation around here with “So…” that could be because I’m not friendly with the natives, or perhaps because it gives me some powerful lead, as if I’m going to interrogate them for some random crime they’ve committed against me and mine. Either way, it never fails to get attention and quiet their babble for a moment or two.
As I said, I can usually write what I’m thinking like a mad mofo, saying whatever I feel like saying. But to have a conversation about something as small as picking up a book for me at the library becomes ” So, if you’re going out, would you mind stopping by the thingy (library) and picking up a whatchamacallit (book) for me by, you know, the lady that…umm…whatshername?(Amy Tan? Erica Jung?)”
So, it’s causing a few issues with me. People around here just stand there looking at me with a scared smile on their face as if they may or may not be in danger. Maybe it’s a puzzled look-as if they’re wondering how I became a member of their tribe in the first place. This is honestly a bit entertaining for me, because I often wonder about that too.
When I’m in tough mom or business mode, it makes things difficult-I become Ozzy O, stuttering, but doing my best to be serious and then I’ll call something a ‘youknowwhatty’, and N smiles, then I lose it and we end up laughing uncontrollably, until I’ve forgotten the whole reason I was giving him the lecture in the first place.
Maybe its burn out. Maybe being here, away from everyone I know, with the exception of G and N has pushed me over the edge and I’ve forgotten how to communicate…… No, I’m pretty sure it’s my quack’s fault. Never trust a doctor that should be riding a horse and buggy to work and looks up the pills I recommend he try to ‘fix me’ with in the same prescription book I have at home. That’s another thing-why is it that I can tell this pathetic ass what he should give me anyway? Why can’t he make a better choice than Lithium or Zoloft? Why can’t he do his job and allow me to be the brainless twit looking for his wise guidance? I told him I had thyroid problems, because I have for the last 12 years-he said “No, you don’t”. I said “check again” he said “Ok, I will” and three days later, I’m on levothyroxine. I’m confident that I could tell him I’ve been suffering with erectile dysfunction and suggest a pill, and he’d smile his permanent dummy smile while looking up the pill in his worn paperback and then say “Alright, we can do that”. Of course getting anything for physical pain is a different story. He’ll give you whatever you can suggest for anything else-but NOT for pain-which makes me really want to poke him in the eye or do something a bit uglier to him. I’m sure you’re thinking: “switch doctors”. But there are 3 doctors here-THREE, and once you belong to one, the others prefer not to touch you–you’re another doctor’s rhubarb-that means hands off. So I’m stuck with a doctor that doesn’t own a computer and hasn’t a clue about Bipolar, or spoken word or anything related to the literary world-except his 2007 prescription book of course. So ramble on, I shall for now. And if that makes me seem like I’ve spent too long in a dark room reading Huxley or hanging with Timothy Leary’s spirit, so be it, right?
I have a love/hate relationship with language anyway. I love using words, bending them to fit my own little world. Its great fun, finding new ways to say the same old redundant things, and a few of the people I speak to (or email rather) are from other countries, so my odd vocabulary makes for VERY interesting conversation. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve had someone say: “Wait a second; you’re pushing my knowledge of the English language.” Of course, there have been other times when my slippery language has not only gotten me into some serious trouble, but has also saved my ass-in all sorts of ways. You become acquainted with how to say what you’re saying to whom you’re saying it too-There’s a big difference in how you say something to your four year-old niece or a 60 year-old man; [actually those two aren’t such good examples because there really isn’t that much difference-they both enjoy the same sort of sweet talk.] Still you get what I’m saying, right?
At the moment, speaking has become a joke-a sad joke, but I’m able to laugh about it, so I must still be ok.
It reminds me of watching N when he was small, learning to identify things and communicate his needs to me. [Christ, what if I begin saying ‘num-num’ when I’m hungry too?]
When he was three, he began to hum along with Mozart, which I felt was solid proof that he was a baby genius. One day he overheard mommy say the “F” word when I broke a fingernail while moving a sofa. Imagine my surprise when a few days later at his grandparent’s home, he began singing the F-word to the tune of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik ! It was shocking for his grandma, but hilariously funny for me. I was pleased that he could sing along without missing a single note, convinced that this was even more proof that he was indeed a baby genius. And no, I didn’t discipline him, just gave him a warning about dirty words, and NO he didn’t grow up to be a riff raff sort of person-as a matter of fact he’s quite the opposite-as those of you who know me will agree. Besides, it’s just words, anyway…
I was just speaking-(typing) to someone about ‘words’ and colorful vocabularies last weekend. Does it really matter how many exquisitely plump words you can fit into a single thought/line? I prefer to develop my own language when I’m writing-for example-exquisitely plump is fine with me, rather than what Mr. Joe-middle-of-the-road or even Mr. holier-than-thou-writing-class would say. I have zero desire to appeal to either of those types, so I’ll say what I want. how I want. (I’ll never write an Oprah book-of-the-month story; sure, I may do Letterman, because he’s from Indiana too, (I was born in Indianapolis), and besides, I’m well equipped for handling guys like Letterman.)
Words cause too many troubles for us, don’t they? I loathe the way words-even when I’m in my right mind-can become distorted, confused, twisted, and one tiny sentence can offend someone or even crush them, when in fact no harm was intentionally meant. I can understand how an email can confuse someone-especially my type of emails with the excessive hyphens and commas and of course those infamous pregnant pauses… (Emails are still easier to follow & understand than it would be if I were speaking to you face to face, believe me).
I think I’ve always suffered with mastering this language-(when I used to try, that is).When I was a kid, my best friend’s parents would laugh at me and my syrupy southern accent. (I pronounced Hills as Heels), and because they were ‘well off’, and I was truly from the wrong side of life, I felt foolish, embarrassed and devastated. I began reading dictionaries and practicing saying things differently than the rest of the garbage around me. I worked VERY hard to deprogram myself– just to please others; because as a child, I thought they were better than the fucks I’d always been around. [I now know that was completely untrue, and most everyone (rich or poor) can really truly suck in the same good old ways.]
Then I moved away to a much bigger town, and picked up on some new dialects and I became a ‘right hodge-podge’ of language with a funny, new accent. Eventually, I befriended a few punks from NY, with names like Eyeball and Germ, and my dialect became even stranger. Later, I began spending a lot of time with a gentleman from Virginia, and once again you could detect this in my accent. But the icing on my ‘funny accent’ cake was my anglophile phase (which I have a foot in the door of- even now, though not nearly as much as I used to) and then my accent became stranger still. Consider the time spent on lengthy phone calls with a Welsh, an Italian and a few very different English accents, and its no surprise that I’ve developed a very colorful accent indeed!
I get a lot of questions about my accent: “Have you lived in New York, England, even Australia and Texas?” (Though I haven’t a clue about the last one, really). A long time ago, I would have been tempted to fib-and say “Actually yes, I have spent the last few months with my friend Romero in Brooklyn”, (which would have been sort of true… in a way. I DID spend several months talking to Romero, who lived in Brooklyn, via phone every single day). But now, I just smile and say “No, I’ve never been there.” After all-‘Let them wonder’…
My grandmother left school when she was 14, had a very limited vocabulary-AND she was the best storyteller I’ve ever heard. Her scary stories could have easily ‘whipped the tar’ out of Stephen King (and I’m pretty sure he would have agreed if he’d heard her stories). Her emotion, the inflection, even with her limited words, did a far better job telling a story than those people who spend years in college ‘learning to write’… And that’s what I want to do: I’d rather be a storyteller rather than a writer any day.
I saw my father for the last time when I was 18. He’d spent a decade or so in Mexico, so I was very surprised to discover he still spoke like a Southern Gentleman (a bit like good ole’ Colonel Sanders). Of course always the Daddy’s girl, (even when Daddy wasn’t there), this made me feel better about my own Southern drawl, which creeps up occasionally- especially when I’m just waking up or I’ve had a second drink. Though hill is now pronounced hill, I’ve realized that there’s no use fighting who you are sometimes and that you have to use it to your advantage rather than trying to bury it-which is the way I’m looking at the natives at the moment…Should I bury them or should I keep them around so they can pick up a ‘so and so’ at the’ whatchamacallit’ for me?
Now, to answer the Darkness question, Yes of course I meant to use “She got” (N was concerned people wouldn’t realize this was intentional), “She got” is sexier than “she has” AND “she got” sounds a bit more street smart-and trust me, that’s sexy too. Speaking of sexy, I’ve left the song that really inspired the “got” phrasing in Darkness-even though I didn’t realize the influence until after I’d written it. This is a VERY sexy song-but it must be THIS version by THIS band-Turn it up VERY loud and listen to those growling vocals and the lyrics that I felt-even at the virginal age of 9- were extremely wicked-because listening to this song gave me the same strange butterflies that watching Gregory Peck or looking at my Shaun Cassidy poster gave me. (And Yes, I now realize that my tender little head was waaaay wrong about the Shaun Cassidy thing)
That’s it for now-but my time is my own at the moment, so don’t be surprised if I leave several entries over the next few days…or if I don’t. Sugary Kisses~13
‘one thing I can tell you is you got to be free’