Wednesday, January 13, 2021

My Dichotomy

There were moments of sunshine, my books arrived, as did my two military blankets to protect my furniture during the Winter when Miss Filthy Feet comes home from our walks, and our grocery store had Diet Coke. Yesterday was a great day! And today is cloudless and will be bright and warm and I don’t have to go to Nanaimo. How odd is it that I am glad to spend yet another day at home?

One of my fellow dog walkers (J.) suggested something to me that involved going to Nanaimo and speaking with officials of the Nanaimo Regional Health Authority. I told her that I couldn’t do it and that instead that I would send a letter. She then said that doing what I wanted to do would be more effective were I to do it in person, to which I replied: “I can’t do that because I am mute when I venture off island.” She didn’t believe me.

J. joined our group long after I’d been part of it, and our leader is Regina with whom I am very, very comfortable. Regina is a wonderful friend; they are all lovely women, but J. seemed to truly believe I was ‘pulling her leg.’ With Regina’s corroboration, I set J. straight.

The contrast between my fluency with trusted friends and muteness with strangers means that going to restaurants requires a strategy for me, because I don’t like the servers seeing me talking to my friends and then experiencing my muteness with them. I feel dreadful about being unable to speak to them when they have seen me talking to my friends. I also ask my friend(s) to order for me out of necessity.

Consequently, I’ve developed a defensive strategy: I tell the friend(s) with whom I’m going to dine that I’d prefer not to talk until the food is served, and all through the meal I monitor my surroundings to prevent our server from seeing me speaking. This dichotomy is the worst part of my speech disorder.

This bothers me because another way of putting what I’ve just explained is to say this: I’m embarrassed to be seen speaking fluently (by those with whom I need to speak but can’t). At the same time, fluency is what I want more than anything. I think this is the worst aspect of my disfluency.

I think was I a Democratic U.S. President, I would seek to implement and information campaign on the Internet and television. I’d convene an education council, including recognized leaders in education, science and religion to challenge the tenants that bind those opposed to science and legislative objectives.

I’d also, were I God, socialize the banking industry, changing their priority from amassing private fortunes for their shareholders to addressing poverty. I reckon that until the U.S. government addresses some of the causes of the vitriolic discontent of almost half of the American population, the country will never heal.

Today, I’ll spend a lot of time outdoors. It’s going to be wonderful for my mental health. In a week, Winter will only be one-third done. I can’t believe how slow this season is passing, but I’m thrilled by how warm it’s been almost every day. Tomorrow is predicted to be sunny too; two days of sunshine will re-charge me for the next month of a warm Winter. 

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