I think I talked to myself constantly as a child, discussing the weather, listing my possessions, reading aloud to hear the story, too. I recall it being a reassuring commentary, full of exclamation points. It was sometimes a litany of guilts to bring to Confession. (No life lives without sin, the Church assured me frequently.) I rehearsed what I’d say to my Mom when I was late getting home. I muttered impressions of innocent passers-by. I used curse words spoken under my breath upon those who stepped in front of my bicycle just as I was getting to speed. I implored saints, angels, God & Mary to help relieve whatever powerlessness currently being experienced…
When sent to my room, I breathed imprecations at life’s unfairness.
Fortunately, now a so-called adult – ahem – senior citizen, I consider aloud all the reasons why I left my shopping list at home while searching the food aisles.
Sometimes people stare sidelong at me when I whisper an emphatic “Yes!” upon recalling some item. But I hear them reading the cereal names out loud while pushing their carts up ahead.
I’m sure I’m on tape everywhere, mouth moving, reciting something or other or laughing at an internal joke.
My morning coffee brings on a lively discussion of the day with the steam rising from the cup. I find nomenclature a great source of satisfaction: enjoying the bright weedy wildflowers out loud as I walk, croaking back to crows, commenting on shapes of clouds. I ask my feet to be careful walking over cattle guards (which mildly freak me out to walk across.) I greet the stone angels as I pass the cemetery.
Oh, Lord. If you’re going to send the guys in white coats, make sure they’re packing a size Large net, ok?
My roommate laughs when she hears me walking to the kitchen “aloud.”
I talk back to the hungry cat, tell the howler next door to “just shut up, will ya?” I sound out my life under cottonwoods while above, the turkey vultures spread their papery wings for takeoff.
Attempts to curb this enthusiasm seem doomed to end unsuccessfully. I’m recorded on every government listening post with some ongoing life commentary. I know the trolls with their headphones are yawning when they hear the tapes. It doesn’t get much more ordinary than me, after all.
Last Friday, I was an hour early for my Yoga class, forgetting the schedule had shifted. When I arrived back home, walking in the door announcing, “I’m home!” to my roomie, I heard her talking away to herself in the shower: “Ow! It’s cold! It’s really cold. OMG, the weather’s changing so fast…”
I rest my case, ladies & gentlemen. Nothing to hear, here, just keep moving along, please.