Speakeasy #147 Prompt – I Can’t Talk

There was a time when things were different.

I could talk without thinking, without my vocal cords seizing and without the right side of my face clenching as I try to make words flow from neurons to muscles. Imagine someone told you to write with the opposite hand. Your writing would become slower, messier, maybe not even legible. You’d feel disconnected from your hand even though your brain screams at it to move.

That is how I talk. The -em and cu- elongate and the st- repeats like my mother’s vinyls, skipping until someone knocks the needle back into place. They sometimes don’t come out all together. I can’t say my last name — my real last name — without running the consonant into the ground before the vowel kicks in. Nervousness paralyzes my tongue and throat, and I have to repeat the word over and over again in my head until I can spit it out.

Phone calls are the worst. They usually laugh or say, “having issues talking to today?” My face goes red as I laugh along… ignorance spews from their yappy-beaks.

Don’t say the word for me, just have patience!

Just let me speak the best I can.


21 thoughts on “Speakeasy #147 Prompt – I Can’t Talk

  1. You’ve captured the deep frustration of struggling with a speach impediment very well. It must be maddening to have people try to “help” all the time.

    1. Thank you. And yes, sometimes I don’t want help, but some days I’m grateful when a person says the word, because then am I able to repeat it perfect. It’s the same concept as reading in unison. Most people who stutter lose their stutter when reading along with another person. Weird how that works…

  2. How terribly sad to be held hostage to such infirmity (mind/body)!The anguish and pain of the protagonist along with the social embarrassment has been brought out well in this piece:-)

    1. Thank you! It’s a struggle most days, but it’s also a big part of why I write, so in a weird way I am grateful for it because I wouldn’t have a passion for the written word.

      1. Oh,I did not know you were writing about your personal experience!Yes it must be cathartic for you,in a way-glad you found an outlet to channelize your feelings and thoughts:-)

  3. This is so well-written. The frustration comes through beautifully – it must be difficult to suffer the ignorance of others. Thanks for joining us at the speakeasy! 🙂

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