I can’t say what I mean. I don’t always mean what I say. I try to express a thing, and it comes out to be another thing entirely. I start talking mid-thought, as if you can read my mind. This must be why I always wanted to be a writer. If only there were time in life to write things down first before having to say them, maybe I’d do better. I might be in conversation at a work lunch, say, or at a work party, and say someone says something possibly false and misconstrued about my personal life, and say I want to address that, I could hold up a finger to indicate give me one moment please. Then I could pull out a notepad and write down some possible responses:
That did not happen.
Please don’t talk about me when I’m sitting right here.
Are you demented?
Then I could cross out all of the above and come up with a coherent deflection, return to the conversation, recite what I’ve written on the notepad, and be done with it.
In reality, I stumble, end up agreeing, or at least not telling the person s/he is demented, and soon enough I am off on a tangent about what life was like when the tourists went home and how I do not like trees.
What?! I mean, that isn’t even true! (At least the part about the trees. Really. They are quite pretty.)
When I am more careful, I keep my mouth closed. This is the best solution. Just let the other people talk. Let them ramble, extrapolate, run themselves into walls. I will nod and smile and say yeah and uh-huh and really? so they keep talking. The pressure is off that way. I know I can always write down what I’m really thinking later.