Sometimes voice not the bestBy Steve Estes
For those I have run into the last week, let me apologize if it seemed as though I was refusing to answer you in any way. I have just been in one of those moods where talking isn’t something I prefer to do if it can be accomplished with a gesture (not the upraised finger for those of you who know my inability to control that sucker).
Were it not that I must talk to a certain number of people each week, I don’t think I’d sorely miss my voice.
If I didn’t have to talk on the phone to clients, sources and the usual suspects, I could be very happy just writing the things I need to communicate.
Actually writing for me is a much better forum for being understood. People can misinterpret what you write, but they can’t change it. Once it’s written, it says the same thing every time it’s read.
For example, writing that someone is a notebook Nazi with tendencies toward anal studiousness could be misinterpreted, but its exact nature could never be changed.
Saying the same thing, however, seems to lose its flavor when the person on the receiving end gives you this “Huh?” kind of look, and spends the next five minutes trying to figure out just how badly he/she has been insulted. It’s really a conversation stopper.
It’s also disheartening when you hear the story come back to you from a friend who heard it from a cousin, who got it from the bartender, who heard it from a friend, who overheard it at the grocery store between a couple of people barely proficient in English, who said they got it straight from the horse’s mouth. And you know you’ve never talked to them.
I generally find it a whole lot more interesting to write than talk anyway. My thoughts seem to flow better, and my fingers seldom talk back (except when creeping carpel tunnel or arthritis sets in).
While writing it’s also quite hard to fall victim to foot-in-mouth disease. Unless you make what you’ve written public, there is no fear of reprisal, no risk of misinterpretation, nor any chance of deity symptoms.
Once you’ve opened your mouth, though, all bets are off, because no matter what you say, you’re bound to offend someone, cause someone to think something that just wasn’t so, or to worship what you have said and start wearing shorts four sizes too big that don’t cover parts of your body the rest of the world really doesn’t care to see.
Why anything would cause the latter is completely beyond my ability to comprehend, but it had to have something to do with worship because we know original thought is pretty much dead for at least one generation.
And, when writing, I can rest assured that I’m not boring impatient people. Those that can read, probably aren’t the impatient type.
Writing also gives one a rest and time to think about what should be said, and more importantly how it should be said, because once the mouth has been engaged, the brain sometimes takes a Sabbatical. The fingers can stop and the brain can continue the thought process without that silly little muscle twitch that drives ones lips and tongue to say things that don’t quite always come out right.
When speaking, you must do that pesky little thing called breathe to expel more air to speak more. Sometimes it makes for strange breaks in the sentence, or the thought, and can allow an overzealous colleague with delusions of psychic abilities to finish the sentence or thought in ways I might find completely foreign to the actual thought in brain.
And then I sound like the one with cranial/rectal inversion that suffers from the occasional bout of hedupyerassitis.
Actually, I guess not being one to overly talk gives me too much time to think about alternative ways to say things. In other words, I have way too much time on my hands when I don’t have to be worrried about controlling my mouth.
And my hands are quick on a keyboard. I have been known to type along with my thought process. Scary stuff that.
But at least if I am writing it, I have the ability to get rid of it before anyone sees the depravity in the thought process.
And as usual, I have drifted from the focus here. This was supposed to be a cute story about the faux pas associated with sounding like a mute for a week, or perhaps the indications given when I began to speak again as though puberty were my next step, not the one from which I hope children will either ignore or quickly pass through.
But there is always next week.
And just think, I’m ready to talk again.