Um, er, ah–

It’s official. Or–I’m finally at a place to recognize that it’s official. I may have been failing for much longer.

Huh? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

I seem to have lost my ability to verbally communicate. With very little practice the past five, six, SEVEN months, I find myself conversationally challenged.

I met some new people Saturday night. Sunday morning I went to message them–only to realize I never introduced myself! I wanted to tell them it was a pleasure to meet them but unfortunately, they never actually met me.

This revelation has me conjuring other conversations I’ve had in the sort of recent past.

Why didn’t I ask how she did when the young woman referenced my DeKalb jacket saying she’d been there earlier in the day for a track meet?

How is it that I forgot to comment on the cool décor of the shop?

Why is it so hard for me to make small talk with a seasonal sales clerk?

Why do I lose track of my next thought in the middle of a chat with a longtime friend?

I replay these verbal absences after the fact, obsessively so, yet I’m no better the next–rare–time I have an exchange.

Friends have called me a “social butterfly“, told me I am their “social glue“. Someone just said that my lockdown life must not be much different since I don’t work 9 to 5. I was like, “WHAT?!” My life is SO different. Before covid I was out of my house almost every day. Driving here, there, everywhere. Meetings, lunch dates, dinners, bbsitting, conferences, concerts, shows, retreats…My entire life was being social. Oh man, has my life changed.

Of course my response was probably a mute nod as I tried to conjure audible thoughts through my face hole.

I have a feeling that once I’m able to hang out and catch up in true social form I will be a volcano of exploding globs of words and phrases and hopefully after repeated exposure, full flowing sentences.

In the meantime, I think I’ll practice talking to myself. And the dogs. And maybe the television. “Oh, Dr. House, why you gotta be such a lovable ass all the time?”

Of course I’ll have to answer on his behalf to fully benefit from the oral exercise.
That should make for lengthy conversations, lol.


About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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