Selective Mutism: A self-imposed choice of shutting the fuck up.
In certain groups, you would find me strangely quieter than my usual self, as if I dislike everyone, which if I may say, a lot of times, isn’t far from the truth. But that’s not what I am necessarily getting at here. I am talking about the times when I radiate the energy and the image of a troubled soul, whose genetic predisposition has set him up for a lifetime of anxiety, compartmentalized identity, and lots of awkward encounters.
So, let me tell you, you are partially correct. I can have unbearable anxiety at times and I do identify myself as someone who isn’t able to identify himself with socially accepted norms for very long. But these reasons do not check the entire list behind my judicious indifference. I mostly dwell in a pocket where I am comfortable to open my mouth without fiddling with an endless dosage of verbal fuckery amounting to nothing, or worse, regressive in its tendency to down lift my vibe. And if the fuckery continues, I am either going to stay quiet as a church mouse or call a cab and get out of there.
You see, I don’t always have that swift desire, that uber drive, to ride a conversational train of thoughts that is destined to lack a destination. So why board it, when you are bored by it.
To oversimplify, my mutism and the degrees of it is selective of what’s the conversation is about and who is having it. If in a party, a group of sports enthusiasts decide to exclude me from their critiquing and regurgitating commentary of a recent game, I may appear okay with that, but I am not. I will sit through the conversations as a non-contributor: Lips zipped, ears perked down, and eyes fatigued by constantly looking out for a slight motivation to sit through the alienating chatters. Because let’s face it, as cringy as it may sound, you do learn something from everyone. And although I am not particularly looking to garner knowledge in a chaotic drunk room, I am thankful to the gentleman who unknowingly educated me about the origin of the word “raincheck”. Ah, the little anecdotal segue you ambled on from your raging commentary to enlighten my ignorant ass, almost made me feel like a part of your feisty entourage, you know? I appreciate the trivia. The highlight of all the mumblings. Thank you, red checks. That’s how I am going to reminisce this evening: Red checks who talked endlessly about rainchecks. Ample knowledge pouring that flooded my grey matter and congested my comprehension skills for a wee bit.
What however doesn’t resonate with me or reassures me of retaining my sanity, is the forever personal discourse of someone. Anyone. No, I will not retain the knowledge about your lactose intolerance, your yoga retreats, or the name of your plants. Sorry, I personally don’t anthropomorphize my possessions and I most definitely don’t talk to my scooter.
I do however will remember how bored I was listening to you meander about nothing, and then getting agitated, that I “looked” bored. Sorry, I wasn’t bored. I had an out of body experience while you wouldn’t shut up. My soul had left my body next to you on the couch, and gone to a different dimension, from where I only heard your voice in mediocre monotones. And it wasn’t until you asked me a question that resurrected my non-captivating self from the momentary interdimensional voyage that I had been on, and I responded to you in sudden but very ambiguous and perhaps in counter-conclusive monosyllables.
To be continued …