When a word I want to use doesn't immediately trip from my mouth the hypochondriac in means screams "Early on-set of dementia!!! Get thee quickly to a...place where people wear white coats and have...those things which can hear your heart." The genius in me gloats "You're only having trouble because you know so much and can't exactly figure out the best word for the job." The me in me just shakes her head. "Stop trying to think three ideas ahead of time. Concentrate on the conversation at hand."
I always imagine my mind not unlike the closet that leads to Narnia. You open it up, and all you will see is some old mouldy ideas. Taking up space, and not of any worth to anyone but the owner of them. Which would be me in this case.
But where you see old tattered things, I see only the beginning. I walk in, and push back the old. Behind the the coats, or ideas is the most amazing sight. There's a clutter that is frantic and frenetic and while it looks like the place has been done over by incompetent 13 year olds robbing a place for the first time to impress a girl in 10th grade, everything is right where I left it. There's a purple-pink feather boa flung over a chandelier that only has three out of the twelve bulbs working. In the far corner is an old battered lounge chair with a hole in the corner caused by a cigarette in 1998. On the wall behind where the shoes are kept is a photograph of Michael Shanks that I won on EBay.. If you pull that away you'll find a fan card of Brad Pitt. Behind that is a Teen Hits fold-out of River Phoenix and behind that you'll find a TV Guide two page lift-out of Face-Man Peck from the A-Team. Amongst the discarded Pringles cartons and Bourbon bottles on the floor is old cross-word books and trashy teen romances and Spot The Big Friendly Dog pop-ups and hard-cover books of poetry and works of art are old shoe-boxes.
These shoe boxes hold my words. Open one of then and between 'deranged' and 'fruitful' you'll find treasures such as "quincunx" and "mawkish". Another one keeps 'postbox' and 'fire hydrant' and 'Constantinople' Yet another bursts from the seams with 'poopy-head', 'butt-wipe' and 'disconcerting'. Various coloured strips of paper the size of fortune cookie wisdoms contain all my words. Written in biro and charcoal and crayon and ink-tipped feathers, in cursive and print and pig latin these words are apart of me. Without my words, I have nothing.
Sometimes, like everyone else I supposed, I get careless with them. I toss them around like little ninja stars of death. Each one carefully chosen to make the worst impact. Each one draws blood. Each one leaves a scar. Most of the time the scar is on me though. Memories of my worded battles and what cruel things I said to someone seem to hurt me long after the person I warred with has been forgotten.
And then there's those times when I lose them. I'll be out having a very milky latte, stirring in my three packets of sugarine when I can't think of a word to describe that thing. You know what I'm talking about - that thing. That does that ... thing when you touch it. And so the art of mime comes into play - and really, mime shouldn't be seen in public this side of the 19th Century.
I hate it when the words go out to play and don't take me along. I can see the idea of the word in my head, but I can't get it to make sense enough to take it's rightful place in a sentence. It wants to hang out with the cooler words and not be seen in one of my stories. Especially not that story again! Hasn't the world had enough??
And so my words play without me - where I do not know - though they come back slightly tired, and crumpled. Rather like their owner after a night out.
And I try to play without my words, though a story about a white four legged animal with this thing in its mouth is never as funny as a tale about a saxaphone playing goat.