Mutism by choice or the art of gargling and gulping every word that you can possibly spit, also has a lot to do with how confident you are feeling on a given day. On certain days, I have the confidence of Instagrammers and Youtubers who jump across skyscrapers to get online views, and on the other days it hangs lower than an aged nutsack.
I can’t talk to you if the conversation is pivoted on a ridiculous whim and the point of it is bizarre and wrong. How wrong? Wronger than just wrong. That’s how much of a wrong. I am not very confident when it comes to being openly stupid. See, I don’t want to raise my brows or my voice, so I’ll agree to whatever you say. If I disagree, I will have to explain why I disagree, and explaining involves talking. I can’t talk, if the person is a three-dimensional body with a one-dimensional mind. You go back and forth with him and before you know, it has led to a full-blown debate. And a full-blown debate is barely about logic, it’s more about ego and last words. I don’t want to go there. So here I sit now, arching myself over the coffee table, I move closer to the cookies coated with extra sugar and ghostly layers of diabetes.
You ask me, if I ate?
I say, oh shit! Yeah, it’s eight now. I am getting late. See you later.
I want to have the confidence of a movie protagonist who talks faintly and away from someone in a tensed situation. In a giant chamber where the lights are dim, the chandeliers make the carpet glow, and the carpet compliments the ceiling, I want to widen the gap between the blinders with my fingers. Look outside, as the thundering in the sky bathes my face with flashes – like a crew of desperate paparazzi clicking my photos – and I want to command my sub-ordinates in a very assertive yet a respectful tone, “Prepare for the war”, or “Order pizza for four”, depending on whether it’s an alien invasion or the last fifteen minutes of a happy Wednesday deal.
I could also do with half the confidence of all the dudes who walk up to pretty girls – who aren’t smoking cigarettes – and ask for a lighter. Not that I always need a lighter to spark the conversations, I am just too conscious of using a false tool to my advantage. Besides, I don’t smoke cigarettes. So if she offers me the lighter, where am I supposed to shove it? I am not too confident of the unwanted sparks. Shit, even before the cab is ignited, I run an entire conversation with myself on when is the right time to ask the cabbie to switch on the AC.
Shall I ask him to switch on the AC the moment I board the cab or 10 minutes from boarding it? If I said it right away, I might come across as someone demanding and impolite. If I said it later, I would have already sweated my shirt (would that make it a sweatshirt? Gah!). Shall I tone down my voice when I ask him, or shall I use the tone that imposes how much of a need of an air conditioner I am in. But what if it doesn’t go well? I might have to find another cab then. Complying to someone’s bad behavior and yet using their service, isn’t really me. I guess, I should keep quiet and hope his need for an air conditioner surpasses mine.