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Say What You Mean, Please. By Kate Alexander-Kirk.


I’m starting to worry about myself. It’s like lately, I keep taking things literally. Super literally. Like at this staff meeting. We’re all sitting there in this gloomy, stomach churning strip-lighting lit hall getting a bollocking from the boss.

“You lot really are the turkeys who voted for Christmas, aren’t you?”

If truth be known, I hadn’t been paying much attention up until that point then, all of a sudden I’m looking round the room at my colleagues and they’re all like… turkeys… They’re like gobbling away. Some of them have got ballot cards in their hands – well, wings - and are, illogically somehow poising pens above them as they think of which way to vote… Weird, man. It’s like all of a sudden, my boss was no longer spouting crap… Ha, can you imagine if he was actually spouting crap? I guess his mouth would be like the spout of a teapot and then out of it would spurt all this… Well you see where I’m going with it… That’d be messed up though…

And like the other day, I was having lunch with my friend, just a simple meal of biscuits and cheese and she says:

“Man, this cheese, I can’t keep it on my biscuit… it’s like attacking the earth or something.”

At that moment, my head’s totally filled with images of these weird little villagers clad in rustic clothing, running for their lives, shielding their head with wicker baskets; flailing their arms wildly, as huge knobs of Cheddar hurtle from the sky with destruction in their inanimate minds… It’s mental.

I can’t explain it.

I don’t do drugs. Unless of course drinking pot after pot of tea each day constitutes having an unhealthy habit?

Man, it’s weird.

It’s like I used to love reading “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” but then I realised I was missing something that other people “got”. It’s like the books they didn’t have the same like psychedelic effect on me as they seemed to on others. I had none of this, “Man, this shit is fucked up,” kinda thoughts or “this is stupid, that would never happen”… Quite the contrary, it all just seemed to make sense to me. Bread and Butterflies? Rockinghorse flies? Things that are impassible rather than impossible? Talking animals? All that shit just made sense. It’s all this weird stuff out here, on dry land that’s all jumbled up.

Like contradictions and metaphors. Why say something that you mean if you don’t actually mean it? And more over, why get pissed at people if they don’t automatically get whatever abstract point you’re actually trying to make? And that friend who I ate lunch with? She exaggerates all the time. Like everything’s some huge fucking space odyssey drama thing. Like I know she does it to be like enigmatic and stuff and creative and spunky… But I don’t get why she can’t just say what she means…

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m what people consider to be like “special”. You know, I’m not autistic or have aspergers… I don’t think. At least I reckon I’m too self-aware to have that kind of a label pinned to me… Which would hurt anyway, wouldn’t it? Although I guess branding would be way worse…

Man, I bet my life would be so boring if I became like everyone else and just stopped taking what people said literally. I mean, then I’d actually have to start reading between the imaginary lines when people come out with things like: “at the end of the day” and “the light at the end of the tunnel” and “blow me down with a feather”…

Man - that would be like living in sepia instead of Technicolor.



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