If I stood right now, hefted myself up from a leather chair in a crowded Starbucks,
would the silly young
Couple speaking enthusiastically of things better left for more private places notice if I fell flat on my
Face after taking three steps, slipping in a carelessly ignored puddle of some iced coffee drink? Likely they’d laugh
Before talking even more loudly about who had drunk texted him saying he was hot and who had been too fucked up
Last night and needed a ride home. They are either oblivious to their audience or fishing for a bigger one.
Daily Prompt: What do you find more unbearable? Watching a video of yourself or hearing a recording of your voice?
The lie I tell myself:
“Darling,” (that’s my pet name for me),
“Your disembodied voice
Grates. (That’s as polite as I can be.)
“But darling in your favor,
A natural grace and sweet disposition
Compensate for failings
In your whiny intonational exposition.”
“So, what you’re saying,”
I nod to myself, no nicknames embedded,
“Is that the camera loves me
And video is where I should be headed.”
“Darling, no,” I laugh,
“You’re not camera ready, either!
Avoid both at all costs,
And forget we had this conversation.”
The author in conversation with herself.
We have company coming from Indiana this weekend, and I’m beyond excited. The men will play golf Saturday and Sunday mornings, while we ladies hang out in and around Tallahassee.
I don’t often get to interact with adults other than Studly, so I’ve been practicing my small talk. The cats are my audience. They aren’t very good at providing feedback, though.
Me: So what do you want to do today?
Me: The Tallahassee Museum is supposed to be nice. I’ve never been there….”
Cat: Meow. (I detect a small variation in this meow, but I’m not sure what that indicates.)
Me: And I thought we’d have lunch at Kool Beanz. It’s outstanding and I don’t think I’ve ever taken you there.”
Me: Well if you’re going to be that way we’ll just stay in all day. Here. Have some tuna.
That didn’t go well at all. I’ve got until Friday to get my patter down. Wish me luck!
those four typed words hanging between us:
we need to talk
with trembling hands i key in your
voice mail, my reward.
what cruelty has led us to this awful
how much more can my sanity take?
i jump as a ringtone signals your call.
hello? i answer so softly that even i struggle to hear.
hey, you say, i wonder…
please, just end this agony! get it over with already!
well, i just wanted to know if i could have your recipe for lasagna.
oh, well sure. no problem. glad to help.
let’s talk again soon.
not at all my strongest suit;
often I’m tongue-tied.
I’d much rather type
bits of witty repartée,
my mouth firmly closed.
So don’t expect much
should we meet face to face, friend.
My patter falls flat.
Awkward is my middle name and composure a foreign concept.
I sometimes imagine carrying on sparkling conversations at dinner parties, but in reality I end up chatting with the hostess’s puppy, to the puppy’s great annoyance.
It isn’t that I have nothing to contribute to a conversation, but that the topics I enjoy (zombies, the Star Wars universe, the undeniable cuteness of my grandchildren and their considerable accomplishments) don’t seem to be of great interest to the folks in our social circle. So next time we are invited to a social event I’m trying a new gambit: Listening.
It won’t be easy. I’m a naturally chatty person. I just hope the hostess’s dog has some snappy chatter.
Me: Did you hear that Mary and Ken are getting married next June.
(One hour later)
Him: Hey, I heard that Mary and Ken are finally getting married.
Me: I know. I told you that earlier.
Me: Yes. You never listen to me.
Me: I think I’ll make chicken enchiladas for dinner.
Him: Why would you do that?
Me: Because I’m hungry.
Me: I’m making chicken enchiladas for dinner because I’m hungry.
Him: Oh, I thought you said you were taking cha cha lessons this winter.
Me: Why would I do that?
Him: That’s what I asked you.
Me: You never listen to me!
Me: Let’s go to a movie this afternoon.
Him: Sure. What do you want to see?
Me: Either “Get on Up” or “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Him: I thought you wanted to see the one about James Brown.
Me: I do. That’s what “Get On Up” is.
Him: Then why didn’t you say that?
Me: I did.
Him: Did what?
Him: You forgot to say I don’t listen to you.
Me: It’s true; you never listen to me.