DO YOU EVER SAY SOMETHING AWFUL AND INSTANTANEOUSLY REGRET THE WORDS; WATCHING THEM FALL FROM YOUR LIPS?
Blah blah blah is flying from your voice while your face is screaming an agonizing no no no, but the neurons have already fired their commands and despite all your efforts, you pushed the RETRACT THAT STATEMENT button a fraction of a second too late. Do you ever speak before you fully think? The repercussions are inevitable.
“That’s not what I meant to say. I mean, I’m having these thoughts even though I don’t mean them. I’m a mean person. I mean… I’m sorry.”
“Talk about a means to an end.”
“What do you mean?”
“Listen to how many times you say mean after being mean. I know what you mean when you meant to say I’m sorry. But I think what you really mean to say is that this has to end.”
“No, don’t go. I mean, go, but come back in a while. I mean, I care about you, but I need space; and I get mean when I need space.”
“So, you mean to tell me that I should be okay with you being mean? I get what you mean. I get mean too. But wouldn’t it be nicer if we could find a nicer way of being mean, at least to each other?”
“Meaning- most people are mean fairly often, either to this person or that person; but wouldn’t it be nice to have to work at something, such as: being better people to ourselves- by being less mean to each other? If we practice together, maybe we can learn to start meaning what we say and saying what we mean.”
“So, you mean, you’ll go. And then, come back?”
“No. I mean you really hurt my feelings, and I’m ‘gonna be mean and just go- because I get mean when people are mean to me... even if they don’t mean it.”
“Even though you were just being mean, please come back later. But only if you mean to be nice. And I’ll try to stop being so mean as well.”
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The Aspiring Writer 31: Terry Barr:
by Terry Barr
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