Take Turns

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People tend to get excited around me. Not like that you crazy thing! Well…like that too but that’s not what this is about. Rein in that wandering mind of yours, will you? Why wonder when I can break it down for you?

Anyway, where was I?

Yeah, …excitement abound.  A talk about talk.

A story of four words.

Discourse. Disagree. Dislocate. Disentangle.

See where I’m going with this? No?

Alright, it’s a Friday – everyone’s distracted with everything else. I’m distracted too. So let’s get this over with, so you can get back to everything else.

It starts out simple. A bunch of people hanging out. Drinks of choice in hand. You know how that shit goes. A string of words in quick succession, a chain, a story. We all want in. It’s like roulette with words. I say something, then you say something, then he says something…very nice and cozy. In a word – Discourse. Then things take a turn for…something. Voices get raised. Not in anger. Excitement. Everyone’s clamoring to say something. All very interesting still.

I’m laughing heartily as I often do. Enjoying the chaos. Some very hilarious anecdotes coming through.  Followed rapidly by the hunkering to jump in with both feet. Suddenly, it occurs to me that everyone’s talking to me. Making eye contact and interjecting their words with mentions of my name:

“Let me tell you, Martha -”

“Martha, I was in -”

“Look here Martha -”

I’m the center of attention. Swell!

Save for one little problem – the rules have been chucked. Sacrificed on the altar of…oh, what does it matter? Smash the rules. Crush them. Dash their hopes of being something. Just take turns at doing it.  Take turns. Everyone gets a turn. Even Russian roulette follows this simple rule.

But noooooooo…

Everyone’s too impatient all of a sudden. It’s like they’re all saying, “I disagree! I don’t know what you’re saying. I can’t be bothered to find out. I disagree, regardless.”

It might still be fun if they were saying this to each other. They are not. I’m the bunny in the trap. Eye contact and everything. Just you try making eye contact with three pairs of eyes! Next thing I know, my head is swinging like a pendulum. Darting from one pair of eyes to the next. My neck hurts from all the nodding. My cheeks hurt from the permanent smile I’ve got plastered there. They think I’m smiling at whatever it is they’re telling me. I can see it in their animated features. But I’m smiling because the voices in my head are in conference. Theirs is barely a whisper, the kind you have without moving your lips, but I hear it the loudest. At least they have the good manners to take turns!

Voice 1: What in the world is going on?

Voice 2: I don’t know, just keep smiling and nodding your head.

Voice 3: Oh my God, they’re getting louder!

Voice 4: YOU are getting louder!

Voice 5: Look who’s talking!

Voice 6: Who the heck is talking?

Voice 7: Exactly how many voices are in here?

Voice 8: Errrrrm…

Voice 9: Oh, shut up!

Voice 10: Oops! You said that out loud! You moved your lips, you dummy!

I look up to find all six eyes looking at me curiously. They seem ready to quiz me. To dislocate my lying face with a bold-faced question:

“What did I just say?”


I heard nothing! How many voices can one pair of ears accommodate, for crying out loud?

“Shut up!” I laugh, nervously “That is so funny!”

They agree. They laugh.

Voice 11: Good save! You really must disentangle now.

I yawn loudly and place my glass of chilled something on the table.

None takes notice.

I yawn again. Much louder this time.

Still no notice. They’re just yapping away, bouncing ideas off a wall. A human wall.

Ayayay! I need a voice over because this is over.

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