“That’s positively preposterous.” I said, absently engaged in conversation with Danny, while trying not to step on icky things. Danny here, is the human equivalent of garbage.
“Nah, man. I think that should’ve been the canon ending.” replied Dan
I said, “Nay, I say.” In reference to an earlier conversation.
With an expression that screamed of murder, Dan said, “Are you joking, man? Seriously? I hate you, you human equivalent of garbage!” in a tone of mock anger.
“Thanks! I hate you as well. Also, don’t quote me.”
“Nay, I say!”
“I’ll break your nose.”
“Nay, I say. What’s wrong? You look weirder than usual”
“I don’t know, man. I just feel off. Like something bad and gut-wrenchingly ugly is approaching us as we speak. Looks like your mom is here.”
“Nah. Your mom’s here.”
“Let’s stop this, Dan. I’m craving sustenance.”
“We’re literally on the way to the Canteen, man. Don’t be pretentious. You know that that does not impress anyone. It gets annoying, you know?”
“I’m not pretentious. I’m not even trying to impress people. I think I’ve said this before, but it is just fun trying to come up with non-conventional ways to say everyday things. Keeps things fresh.”
“Yeah, yeah. I get it”
Danny and I walked over to the counter, and then stood in line to get the dullest and saddest looking food. I picked my plate from the same pile that I always pick my plates from. I went to the cutlery pile and picked my spoon up from the same spot as I always do. This was always the least favourite part of my day. This monotony got me thinking about what happened to my dreams of being a globetrotting guy eking out a living, and when I had saved enough to move to the next place, go there. This usually went to me thinking about how this was a different kind of monotony – just me masking the thing I disliked (monotony). But not today. I found a fork. For the first time in four years, I found a fork! This made me happier than it should have. Running over to Dan, I shouted “Hey Dan! I found a fork!”
“It is exciting because it breaks the norm!” I say, sipping water because my mouth felt strange
“Are you daft? It is exciting because it breaks the monotony that is uncharacteristically prevalent in this godforsaken place!”
“Why are you saying blegh over and over?”
“Why are you saying blegh over and over?”
“Stop killing my buzz, man.”
“Repeat whatever you just said.”
A nasal and shriller version of my voice said “Are you daft? It is blegh because it breaks the blegh that is blegh blegh in this blegh place!”
“This place IS pretty blegh.”
“Wow. You are concerned with this place being blegh, and not that words you said was replaced by blegh. Wow. Just … wow man.”
“That was bothering me.”, I said. Then, I wrote the sentence down and Dan pointed out the words that were bleghed. They were uncharacteristically long.
“There was a blegh after the ‘was’. “
“We’ll have to try and understand what won’t be bleghed, man. I meant that the words being bleghed was weird and I was… troubled by it. Were there any bleghs in what I just said? I think it bleghs the long words.”
“Yeah. There was a blegh after the first ‘and’.”
“This isn’t a long word!” I shouted, pointing at a paper with ‘understand’ in my hand.
“It sounds long.”
“This situation is weird!”
“Second word was a blegh.”
“AAAARGH! Our current state of affairs is crazy. That’s what I wanted to say.”
“Let’s try and find what makes the blegh trigger. Make a note of whatever words trigger the blegh response.”
“Try and notice how your mouth moves. If it feels odd, note the words. Don’t make an assumption and try to justify it. Try to disprove that assumption.”
“I know. I know how pattern recognition works.”
I write it down and show it to Dan.
Flustered and bewildered at the maddeningly speech impairing predicament I was in. It’s odd, how I was using long words more often, now that I couldn’t use them.
“I’m feeling angry. Sorry if I was rude. We’ll meet up in the morrow. Bye, Dan!”
“Bye, Brian. Try not stabbing someone with that fork of yours.”
Walking off in a huff, I absently pocketed the fork, mistaking it for a pen.
I took the next bus available to my place. I sat in a seat near the beginning of the bus, and, staring off into the distance, thought about the predicament I was in. I had trained myself to think of unconventional ways of saying everyday sentences. It was second nature to me. This little project that I had undertaken changed my way of thinking. This was like that time I started learning to play a left handed guitar. You have an inkling of what you have to do, but it is all new. But on the bright side, I thought to myself, I’ll probably gain clarity of thought. Not bad.
Late that night, I lay in bed trying to make sense of what had just happened. But what had happened? Was my desire to challenge myself to make my listeners bubble and froth and slobber and cream at language being thwarted by the universe? Was I developing Tourette’s? Was I developing a tumour? Was I too sleepy to properly make sense of this situation? Falling asleep, I nodded to myself. “Maybe”
– ML Prahasith