I’m here. But I’m not here. I mean, I’m not trying to be here. There. I mean this isn’t a way to, like, secretly be on social media when I totally made this huge deal about TAKING A BREAK.

I’m actually just trying to speak. To whisper and shout and calmly state; to deliver towering monologues while pulling faces; to exorcise the words that creep up the back of my neck, under my skin, and get stifled, swallowed, endocytosed, and stored, like so many toxins, in my fat cells.

One day when I melt away they will all tumble out in twelve point font. Some days after a hard work out surely you can smell them in my sweat. The oily residue of all the words I chop off the stories I tell, edit out of the sentences I say, rule out of conversation, because…well, because…because I am allergic to not being listened to?

Because I struggle to share my unformed thoughts. Because I crave understanding and always feel it is just out of reach. How do I tell people all of me? How do I tell people any of me? Where do I even begin?  Well fear. Yeah, I could start with fear. I’d love to tell the pain, but I don’t even know how to name it all.

I tend to tell the funny, ‘interesting’ stories. Raconteuse is safety. Dry land. My track record on nuggets, quips, jibes, repartee isn’t half bad. Decent marks in double entendre, slips of the tongue, and puns, though I doubt I’d wow the Irish judges. Done it again there, artful dodger.

Expose. Exposed. Exposure. Can I? Never been one to show much skin. Prefer aperture, ISO, shutter speed. Word play, parry, riposte.

Or maybe it’s enough to let my brain go soft around the edges, frolic in an unplanned no-theme patter. Chatter on, incessant, as it does. So there it is. No secrets worthy of a named tune on the soundtrack. Nothing unsaid today (the hours before this were a veritable flood of words for me).

Nope just needed to open a window; watch the linen curtain flap in the imagined breeze of the coming spring; hear the clatter of a typewriter, my matinee-idol Gray Matter in his gleeful trance at the keys. Id, Ego, Superego prowl in and out of the spare, old-fashioned room poking at Gray like the flyweight tests the cruiser for a lark.

Yep. Words. Here. Help yourself. No, I didn’t go to any trouble, just cooked up what I had lying around. Glad you dropped in. Here. I’ll put the kettle on. Milk or sugar?

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