Tuesday Tuneup 119

Q. Where would you like to be?

A. In a place of greater freedom.

Q. Freedom from what?

A. From worry.

Q. What are you worried about?

A. People.

Q. What people?

A. All people.

Q. You worry about all people?

A. Didn’t I just say that?

Q. What is there to worry about?

A. Offending them.  Crossing them.  Hurting them.

Q. What makes you think you do these things?

A. I have a bumbling personality, and I frequently put my foot in my mouth.

Q. For example?

A. Talking with a lady, I asked her when she was expecting, and it turned out she wasn’t even pregnant.  I watched her go off and cry, and I felt horrible.

Q. Don’t you know that you’re never supposed to do that?

A. It slipped my mind, because I was pretty sure someone had told me she was expecting.  What they had actually told me was that she had three kids.

Q. When did this happen?

A. Oh, maybe a year or so ago.

Q. And you’re still dwelling on it?

A. Not really.  You just asked for an example, and that was the first thing that came to mind.

Q. Have you put your foot in your mouth at any time since then?

A. Yes. Many times.  Or, if I didn’t, I fear I did.

Q. When?

A. Yesterday.

Q. What did you say?

A. Lots of things. I was talking with a friend, and I wanted him to hold some things in confidence.

Q. And he did not?

A. He might not, because I fear he cannot.

Q. Why do you have that fear?

A. Well, he later called me and asked which portions of what I had asked him to hold in confidence could be revealed to a mutual colleague.

Q. Did you then remind him you had asked him to hold all of it in confidence?

A. No, because it crossed my mind at the moment that some of it would be okay to reveal to the third party, and some of it would not.

Q. And you don’t think he can tell where to draw the line?

A. No. He’s not that sophisticated.  He’s as bad as I am, if not worse.

Q. So what is the solution to all this?

A. I don’t know.  If I could make my mouth speak about half as much as it does, it would probably make things twice as good as they are now.

Q. Then why not do that?

A. I lack confidence. I’m an Introvert. Most Introverts, when they’re nervous, they clam up.  When I get nervous, I start foaming at the mouth.  I babble incessantly, and things come out of my mouth that really should not have entered into my brain in the first place.

Q. So you lack social savvy?

A. I think so, yes.

Q. Well what are you going to do about it?

A. I know what I’d like to do, if it were possible.

Q. What’s that?

A. I’d like to hole up in my nice warm apartment here, not to talk to anyone at all, and work on my project.

Q. What project?

A. Seems I have to readjust the opening and closing scenes of my musical, simplify the vocal score so that all the music can be taught in a single week, write out full guitar and bass parts, extract extraneous parts from the performance tracks, and–

Q. And what?

A. I’ve got too much work to do.  I can’t have all these people flying through my head all the time, worried about whom I offended by saying what, when and where.  I’m not a people person.  I’m an ideas & concepts person.  We all need people, but there are just too many of them for me to manage.  I just need a better balance.  I want to be free from the consequences of words spoken idly. I want to give the world my best–not my worst.  Really, I should never talk to another human being for the rest of my life.

Q. Isn’t that a bit extreme?

A. Of course it is.  I’m speaking from feeling, not from reason.

Q. Then why not start speaking from reason?

A. What do you mean?

The Questioner is silent. 

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