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.