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My Way of Talking

My way of talking, it seems, is stringing together one story then another then another. This spells conversation to me. The stories are associational. Oh, you had an experience with barbed wire? Let me tell you how as children we pried apart the strands of barbed wire on Mamo’s farm and bent our backs to level ourselves into the next field over, fleeing Shadrach the Bull.

Occasionally, when I remember, I interrupt this steamroller way of talking by asking questions. Focusing on the other person in this supposed conversation. I listen. I ask followups. Then, all too often, I’m riding atop my steamroller again. It feels as if a collection of stories is jostling behind the door of my tongue and, once loosened, out the stories tumble.

One effect of this style of conversation is to make my life sound like an absurdist MadLib story.

Speaking of which, I now have two “always wash your pre-washed lettuce stories.” (WordPress hates these digressions—stay on topic! Make sure your reader knows your point! As if y’all were a bunch of imbeciles.) My beloved friend left the house this morning riding the train back to Memphis with her baggie of spinach we’d bought at the Rouses’. She texted me a little while later with a photo of a needle! Found in her spinach!

It was not a small needle. For the best, I suppose—she said she couldn’t miss it. Unlike the teensy frog my sister found sucked up against the plastic of her “pre-washed” lettuce. When my sister tells this story, she performs the frog: her palms out, eyes closed, sucking the plastic. Always wash your bagged lettuce, y’all.

Tomorrow starts a brand new week. Make the best of it. Gather a few stories and join my way of talking, weaving your life like strands of barbed wire: impervious, knotted, a tad bit dangerous.

A green Lava lamp beside a Lalique glass maiden to represent my way of talking: slightly MadLibbed
My Bigmama would be appalled at how I’m using her beautiful maiden. She’s say, you decorate exactly like your way of talking: a MadLib

associational thinking, barbed wire, wash your lettuce, your way of talking

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