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Second Full Day of Silence

First, my BlackBerry doesn’t work here. I should be used to this as I’ve been here before but I’m not. If I stand on the end of the dock and assume the Statue of Liberty Position with my beloved RIM device as torch and….hold it….hold it….hold it…for about 5 minutes, sometimes my email comes through. Other times, not. Weather is not a good predictor of when this method will succeed or fail, neither is duration of the attempt to receive signal. Rather, I’ve come to accept simply that cell reception here is an unpredictable whore.

Last night a bunch of people here drank too much and made fools of themselves. No one else noticed though because everyone was bombed on wine and talking lots of nonsense. If you’ve never observed the aftermath of a dinner party sober I don’t suggest it. It will lead you to uncomfortable insights about how you undoubtedly behave.

As you can deduce, I’m not allowed to have alcohol during my recovery period. Nor may I have citrus products, chocolate, very hard or scratchy food, coffee, tea…basically anything. I’m not allowed to exercise or swim or have fun. I am not allowed to commit suicide because then Cigna might reject my claim for the surgery leaving my family destitute in their attempt to settle my jaw-dropping bill from Dr. Zeitels. Essentially, I’m fucked.

So, is it terribly isolating being silent? Yes. When conversation is clipping along there is no way to scribble something down on a pad in time to make a relevant point before the topic has been swept by. And in an animated group, few are willing to divert their attention to the guy waving around a secretarial pad so that they can read his insights aloud. When they do, the pronouncements come out stilted and jumbled, inevitably carrying a weight they would not if simply verbalized in the slip and flow of conversation. Quickly worn down by the disillusionment of this process, one learns to tune out the conversation and retreat to the corner with a book rather than face constant frustration. But even so, its hard to keep a good raconteur down. I still find myself perking up suddenly at a point made (NO, that cant be right because the Red Sox didn’t play last week – HA!) but the moment has passed and no one is paying attention to the particulars anyway. Back to my book.

Its rather annoying that people feel the need to speak to me slowly, as if I am perhaps deaf or retarded. Its an interesting lesson though in how we receive feedback and adjust our actions accordingly. When one doesn’t receive verbal feedback from a verbal “exchange” one automatically assumes, despite consciously knowing better, that one’s intended message has not been understood. Reaction: speak slower, louder. Example: See “American at cafe in Provence”

My throat is killing me but I’m trying to rely only on Tylenol for the moment. Bets on how long I’ll be able to hold out are being taken.


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