I try to be interesting. I really do. I really like informing people of things. Whenever I am learning or reading or watching or hearing or otherwise experiencing anything at all, I am generally developing a list of people I think would like to hear it. I take great joy in doing so. The problem I occasionally have, though, is that I will start in on a fairly big chunk of information that is barely connected to the current subject. The idea is that there is a big payoff at the end. Unfortunately, while I am juggling the multitude of facts and anecdotes and attempting to sculpt them into a masterpiece, sometimes I… lose control of the truck. It becomes clear to me that this is going nowhere. Usually it becomes clear to the listener. It doesn’t matter at that point. There is nothing anyone can do to stop the flow of words. My brain is essentially dumping information to my mouth.
The sort of things that are said during this time can be completely baffling. Things that are sitting on the shelf in my brain next to what I was saying often join in. I go on a tangent from an already tangential subject. I know that I am losing my listener, but I can’t stop. My mouth has been hijacked by the librarian of my brain, the memory. My brain has got some interesting characters in it. Harsh, over bearing Insecurity. Crazy Uncle Sub conscience. Chronically suicidal libido. Yet somehow a power vacuum occurs and the librarian takes over. Desperate to communicate the pointlessness of the verbal torrent to the person it is pouring down upon, the other people in my head start taking drastic measures. The eyes are generally called into service for this task. You’ll see my eyebrows flutter, a fairly persistent eye twitch, and during attempts to regain control of my mouth, long pauses in my speech and a freakish drifting of one, and only one, eye.
The saddest outcome of this is when the listener is right there with me, following the pied piper of the conversation further and further into the woods. Eventually the end of the road is reached and we are in the middle of nowhere. Lost. I complete a tale with the brilliant ending, “… and then we went home…. That’s it.” And then search begins for the trail of said-crumbs that we hope will lead us back home.
“Okay, so you said something about scanning electron microscopes… and before that you said something about a bus flipping over. A joke about a squirrel was in there, I know that. Before that was pie. Then football. Squirrels again. Twice. More pie… were we talking about squirrel pie?”
Yeah… so, anyway. That’s it.