Evoking emotion in me is like filling a massive man-made dam. You keep pushing and pushing to go further, to fill it higher, until suddenly the walls break and water goes everywhere. Many lives and friendships lost, terrible mess, nightmare insurance claim.
Problem is I often don’t know when to stop. It’s like the world is challenging me to tip toe over the thick red boundary, to see the signs and ignore the warnings. To step over “the line”.
Within our family we’re pretty good at keeping each other in check. A slip of the tongue and down the phone you’ll hear me dryly saying “line! Line!” As if I’m voicing a submarine siren or hitting a desk buzzer. I used to mimic the action, that was until people in public places started expressing concern that I was having a some kind of seizure.
“Line! Line! Line!”
Outside of family there’s no such restriction on what I say. Now obviously I never say anything offensive or plain stupid, I’m not Donald Trump, but that doesn’t stop me saying things that are a bit kooky and classically Alice. A throwaway comment that develops into a very strange trail of thought, carrying on and on until I look up and realise that, at best, no one is listening or, at worst, I get “a look” which says it all; “must remove from LinkedIn.”
Only recently have I discovered that I’m not alone in evoking stupid thoughts. Someone at work is equally resilient to being unable to locate the line. At first I thought “oh my God, another one exists! Yay!” now I’m thinking “oh my God, how does this end? Will the world implode if we share one pun too many?”
I’ll spare you the full detailed story that has developed between us because honestly it’s pretty weird (I know, even by my standards). This fictional life started with an innocent accidental wave on Facebook – 30 minutes later and it had become all kinds of Mighty Boosh.
To make matters worse, the colourful (and ongoing) contents were inadvertently brought from the safe confines of social media and into the office today. You can only imagine the looks (or non-looks) the pair of us were getting. I may have discovered the older, more ‘out there’ version of me, but I’m also discovering why “you can never have too much of a bad thing” isn’t a common saying amongst sensible people. The banter is wonderful, but the confused looks and hole-digging explanations? Hmm, that’s harder to put up with on a day-to-day.
Where is my conversation controller, my stupid stopper, my tame talker? Where is my internal, one word, monologue when I need it the most?
“Line! Line! Line!”
Written in response to the WordPress prompt Evoke