On speech

the crab!

I wish I could hyperlink speech. The act of speaking feels very foreign to me. It sounds really stupid to say that because I’ve been talking all my life, but even still… it’s just not the way that I think.

So many times I find myself talking to people and something I say triggers a parallel thought, a tangent or something and I want to share that too. And often I do. I take the conversation all over the place sometimes and when I finally loop back toward what I had been talking about I realize that though it’s connected in my head, people haven’t necessarily been following along.

The way you’re supposed to speak is totally foreign to the way I think. It’s just not the way it plays out in my head. I’ve got a loose web of thoughts in there and then I make connections between them. There’s no narrative in there. Well, there is, but it gets bogged down and convoluted under the weight of the different things that I’m connecting to it. This isn’t a problem until I have to communicate it.

People who know me well know that I have an irritating habit of citing my sources as I’m speaking sometimes. I’ll just plug a name and a date into the middle of what I’m saying, as if people care and as if there’s some sort of reference list appended to the end of my speech. I’m not trying to be pretentious and irritating. Honest to goodness I do it to invite people to go forth and read and research whatever it was that I’d cited, because I probably would if I was in their situation.  I’m that weird.

But you know how it is: those long nights spent reading wikipedia, following link after link after link, until you’re somewhere random and obscure, a journal article that was referenced somewhere, or the official website of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Or something like that. They have really cool looking priests.

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