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Friday, October 2, 2009

Drivel

I feel so silly. I must be a feeler.

I called in a prescription refill to Rite Aid just now, but instead of going through the automated menu, I had to speak with a person. Because when I picked up my prescription there the last time, that's what the kind lady behind the counter told me to do. But the person I just talked to was apparently not in agreement. "This isn't our problem. Call the Atwood Avenue store. :click:" My eyes filled with embarrassment-and-frustration-tears as I hung up the phone.

Come on, Hayley. Every moment people who don't know the Lord are dying, and you tear up when a stranger's brusque with you on the phone? I can hear Cindi talking to her daughter in my head, "When do we cry? When we get a boo-boo or when we're sad. We don't cry when we don't get our way. Shake it off."

I keep opening up this familiar new post window, to write nonsense to myself when I feel particularly listless. Which is nearly all the time.

One thing I've learned from my AP English Literature class thus far, is that good writers use fewer words. Also, that that's what makes poetry a distinct form from prose: intense feelings and ideas are conveyed as concisely as possible, unless you're Milton. Brevity takes a lot of work; that's what Mark Twain meant when he said he would have written a short letter, but he only had time to write a long one. I can ramble, easily. I can exhaust thousands of words and never say what I mean. My American Legion speech went through so many drafts last year, of my mom's pencilled remarks in the margins, "What does this mean? Cut the fluff. Get to the point. What are you trying to say?"

I hate not saying what I mean. I hate that I can't help it. And yet, saying things that don't quite embody what I mean is still preferable to not saying anything at all. I can accept the imperfections of expression. But I'll still whine about it occasionally.

2 comments:

Art said...

"I keep opening up this familiar new post window, to write nonsense to myself when I feel particularly listless."

I know the feeling well. Except that I do it in Google Notebook because I'm afraid I'll accidentally click "post" on a draft.

I'm too good at saying nothing.

Michael said...

"My eyes filled with embarrassment-and-frustration-tears as I hung up the phone." minus actual tears, I can definitely relate to this!

"The elements of style"'s mantra is "Make every word tell." so...yeah.

Blaise Pascal totally said that thing about a short letter way before Twain did....just sayin. (By at least a couple hundred years)