I often find myself participating in conversations wondering what the point of all of it is. Sometimes words and phrases just seem like trivial mouth sounds put forth as a desperate plea for the silence to stop.
“Oh, you like blue? …How interesting! I’m more of a magenta fan myself.”
“How was your day? Good? …Cool. …Yeah, it’s really raining outside.”
“Words words words …words words words…..”
Even seemingly important topics:
“I think the Donald Trump candidacy reveals a horrifying malaise that has been spawned from a disillusioned American electorate. What do you think?”
“Perhaps it was when the human species acquired language that we were cast out of Eden, so to speak, forever condemned to experience the world through symbols, and thus detached from the rawness of reality. Pass the chips.”
“Words words words words words….”
Or sentimental expressions:
“I love you.”
An ex of mine once told me that I’m too concerned with sounding smart. This blog is proof. I put a lot of effort into making insights and being eloquent, but really it all boils down to a deep insecurity: if I can’t provide insight for others, then what worth do I have?
“You don’t speak like a normal human being.”
“Your language is affected.”
“Nobody talks like you do.”
“You’ve gone through life with people praising your intelligence; you don’t know how to handle being average.”
“You don’t need to prove to the world that you’re smart. Nobody cares that much.”
“Words words words words words…”
Not all of this was said by my ex. Some were said by others I know. Some were said by nobody but myself.
Seldom do people talk more than I do in a conversation. I blabber words constantly. I try to be insightful. I try to be funny. But it all comes from a place that’s desperate to prove [to myself] that I have a right to exist, that I have value. But what is the value in person, how much others enjoy spending time with them?
Is that to say that if you’re not interesting, if you’re not smart, if you’re not funny, then you are worthless? That’s horrifying.
The concept of value is horrifying.
But alas, when it comes down to it, most of my words, whether superficial greetings, intimate discussions, or mundane observations, probably boil down to, “I’m afraid of being lonely.”
And yours probably do too.
So when I’m speaking with you…
“Oh my God, today was such a hard day at work. I had to deal with some terrible customers.”
“You too? Did you sleep well last night? Nothing like a good night’s sleep.”
…maybe instead of hearing…
“Words words words words words words words….”
“Words words! Words words words? Words words…”
…I should be hearing…
“I’m afraid of being lonely.”
“You don’t need to be afraid of being lonely.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I’m also afraid of being lonely. But if you’re here talking to me, what is there to be afraid of?”
I wish I could host a party, or a camping trip, or some sort of experimental social gathering where those present did not speak, just to see what sort of communication becomes possible without words to obscure the true visceral energy that connects us. I imagine that, after a period of initial discomfort, we would find peace within our company, because there would be nothing to distract us from the blessing of being together at last.
May those that are born lost find a home in one another.