Everything about me has been changing lately. Even the way I tell stories. Anytime I have to recount a tale from the past - I fall prey to the same monotonous rhythm that I’ve told the story in a million times before. 

I hate it. 

Gracelessly, the words stumble through my lips. I see the person who is listening, and she is completely out of touch. I know that the story itself is interesting. I know it is - I’ve lived through it. I’ve lived a rich and colorful life. But I can’t seem to go astray -  to leave behind the script. The same script I’ve been carrying with me for over a decade - or whenever this story occurred. The difference is, I’m no longer 19. I need to update the rhythm, to better reflect who I am today. But in the midst of blabbering through my lines, I can’t ever seem to jolt myself out of the painful monolog. Like my friend Nader says, sometimes I just need to “Shut the Fuck up.” Even if it means to stop dead on my tracks and say “Ah, fuck it. Whatever. Let’s talk about something else”. 

I’m at that juncture in my life where I’m no longer a young man, and I’m not yet old. I look at the ways in which people of all age ranges interact with one and other. I see young people and the misleading innocence of their eyes. The way they openly splatter words around like as though they’re creating a Jackson Pollock painting. Then I see the so-called adults, in their reticent and jaded haze. Unwilling to speak as much as their younger counterparts - keeping everything only to themselves or their very, very close ones. Why? Because they’ve been broken so many times, that they’ve finally learned to not take as many risks. They’ve learned to shut the fuck up. 

It makes me wonder. Is it a natural change in our brain chemistry that alters our means of communication, or are we simply mimicking how our peers interact? Do adults feel the pressure to be less verbose because it’s their natural tendency, or are we still all emotional teenagers who want blabber on and spit garbage - but refrain from doing so because it’s frowned upon.

I don’t really quite know the proper means of action. Do I talk, or do I shut the fuck up? But if there is one thing I’ve learned - and it’s something that I’ve also incorporated into my mürmurs - if it’s not brought up, don’t fucking mention it. If you’re not asked about it, don’t even begin. Ironically, by not jumping into the focal point of your thoughts, believe me, there will eventually come a natural lull - but here is the trick - you have to be comfortable with sitting in that silence for a moment. And if you manage to not fill in the void with non-sense, you will be prompted. And when you do, boy, your words will be like an arrow flying through a straight path directly into the heart of the dart board. 

Today’s advice. Shut the fuck up. Wait. And then talk. 

(Originally publishes 6/14/18)