07 August 2008

Crickets

I tend to be one who speaks her mind. It's almost like I have a congenital defect or a mutated case of Tourette's. Whatever little filter most people are born with that keeps things from going straight from brain to mouth I don't have. I say what I think and I mean what I say. That can cause more than a few awkward moments and I've become accustomed the taste of my pedicure. I lack tact. I tend to be blunt as well as sharp witted. I am carefully placed at dinner parties.

I don't always get a kick out of making people uncomfortable (unless they are absolute wankers; then I quite like it). I might want to make a point, but hurt feelings aren't part of the plan. Friends are used to my communication style. They've come to accept it as part of my charm. Which is why they grow concerned when I go silent.

I'm just too busy to put forth much of an effort these days, so now, when I'm confronted with an absolute ass, I tend to go mute. I say nothing. I simply stare at the offender and wait for the crickets to chirp. This is overwhelmingly effective over the phone. In that deafening silence, I can hear wheels turning, cheeks clenching and the stunning realization of, "Man, she thinks I'm a complete moron." Yes, I do. And the beauty of it is, I didn't have to say it. I don't have to say anything at all. Not a word. Not even bother with telepathy; the silence says it all.

I usually wait for the dunce to utter, "Hello?" or I hear their heart beating through the phone line before I speak. Sometimes the person just keeps filling that silent expanse by over-explaining. As they drone on, I simply sit there and sip my tea. Doodle a bit. It's sublime. Silence is the perfect tactic for the tactless, because I can't be accused of being the jerk by imparting my Tourettic honesty. "Well, what did she say to you?" "Uh...nothing?" Off the hook entirely. A simple change of subject and suddenly I've become the class act. Me. That is truly gobsmacking.

For someone who can easily end a conversation, relationship or career in one rapier response, keeping quiet is like donning a bulletproof vest designed by Chanel. Silence is a powerful language that I'm learning to appreciate more and more. And the sound of crickets is quickly becoming my favorite song.

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