Verbal Addiction

It's been a busy couple of days around the Plin household, although without much to show for it in terms of so-called productivity. For one, I've been engrossed in a book (Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, which I would never have picked up if I'd had the slightest idea what it was about, and it's been a difficult read for me in many ways, but beautiful and gripping and I wish I could do nothing else but read it for a couple of solid days). I've also been doing some serious loafing, which is really getting in the way of the aforementioned productivity.

Last night I went to a party, which was loads of fun, although a) I was out late enough that today got off to a slow start, putting me still further behind, and b) I realized I really do need to get out more, since I could not seem to shut up. It was the kind of thing that happens to me when I spend long stretches without much socializing: I seem to feel the need to do all the talking in the world, everything that's pent up and everything that I might need to say in the foreseeable future, just in case I never get the chance to speak again.

Then, I come home, and either immediately or by the next morning at the latest, begin suffering from a words hangover. My mind replays scenes of my endless nattering, and I grow increasingly horrified at how severely I monopolized everyone's time and attention. I vow to myself that I'll go on the babbling wagon, swear off the chatty sauce.

Obviously, it never lasts. More than a few minutes, even. I'm just a verbal addict, there seems no way around it. Hell, even my journal entries tend to be novella-length. The Internet hasn't sated my appetite for palaver, it's just amplified my opportunities to indulge.

Most of my closest friends are garrulous types, themselves. You'd think this would be a source of conflict, but it turns out, talk begets talk. Case in point: even after last night's mildly embarrassing gabfest, today I went shopping with a friend. We were out for a good seven hours or so, and while part of that time involved being alone in a dressing room, the rest of it was solid conversation. Shortly after we parted ways, we were conversing on Facebook, and I know for a fact we were both simultaneously interacting with other folks online, too. Dario's mom always used to marvel at the fact that we would be talking our way up the stairs whenever we'd visit. "How can you still have so much to say to each other? Haven't you run out, yet?" she'd ask.*

My two closest girlfriends in town are also people I don't get to see nearly as often as I like. Partly because we all lead busy and complicated lives, but also because we know we need to schedule huge chunks of time to leave room for all the talking. It's kind of a self-perpetuating cycle, because the longer the time between encounters, the more we obviously need to catch up. (Then again, even when we see each other more frequently, it's not as though we're short on topics of conversation.) When Patrick and I drove out to LA last January*, there were no awkward pauses or lulls (although there was some napping--on his part, luckily, since I was the one driving).

I try to tell myself that, amid all these lovely, talkative people, only on the rarest of occasions (usually involving excess alcohol and/or some major personal event) have I ever felt even the slightest sense that any of them were taking up too much conversational space. They are all witty and articulate and interesting, so listening to them and engaging in some brief back-and-forth in which they dominate the floor is my idea of a good time. I suppose all I can do at this point is hope that my friends--even, with any luck, the less verbally inclined--feel the same way toward me, or are at least charitably forgiving.

Verbalizing is a tough addiction to beat, so while I can work harder not to overindulge in self-expression, I think this is a monkey that will always be on my back.