Watch Your Language

This outfit defeats me. Always has. Always will. 
Addendum to my previous post: Who Talks Like That.

I used to date this woman who was infinitely smarter than me. Let's call her, Carolyn. Besides being valedictorian of our class--which it turns out I can barely spell--she was an athlete, spoke two languages fluently, played keyboard in a rock band, and was a total fox. She moved to Switzerland to travel the world and live with an excellent dude. I write this blog. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. She missed out big-time.

Carolyn was the best reader I've ever known. I admired her, not simply for the volume she read, but for the how she read. She never made a big production of her reading, nor did she ever use books as a stilt to prop herself up. Her reading had no social agenda. She read quietly, at home, and all the time. You'd see her carrying Les Mis one week and the next she'd be on to something else. Some people carry books as an accessory so the world can know just how cultured and high-minded they are. Carolyn loved to read.

But what really made her special was how she used the books. When I finish a book, I will cram its meaning into every conversation. I've only read three books this year and you're going to hear about all of them. Having read an absurd number of books, she only quoted, referenced, or discussed a work when it was perfectly necessary. Her vocabulary was astonishing, but you'd never know it. She'd let it slip one word at a time, perfectly articulating a point.

She used her words the way they were meant to be used. Carolyn makes me watch my language. Thinking about her reminds me that I shouldn't try to bully vocabulary words into my life, but search for the perfect moments. When I reach for a word that doesn't quite belong, I can feel the ugly desperation. I'm trying to impress you. I'm trying to make you believe that I'm an educated man. Really, I'm just a boy begging for your approval. Then I think of Carolyn, and how I ought to be more like her. And I relax. Even from thousands of miles away, you make me a better man.  

Those close to her knew she was a genius. She didn't much care for what the others thought.

I like how you do, Monkey.

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