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I imagine that most of us speak without really thinking. I think too much and still speak when unnecessary. But what are the consequences of my words? For the most part my words do not carry vitriol but sure, I’ve been known to bitch and moan around the house. My last evening out I should have recognized that I was not being heard.  I was uncomfortable with the topic in that I felt it needed more attention than drunken monkeys and angry Greeks could offer.

I love the art of conversation, even stupid, silly conversation. The sillier the better as far as I’m concerned. Word play is an art and can be endless if someone responsible isn’t around. Conversation can inspire us, educate us, dumbfound us, make us miserable and make us happy. When you are conversing do you think about your intent?

Are you a “devils advocate”? Contrarian (same thing?) argumentative, authoritative, passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, thoughtful, emotional, cowardly, brave, willing to learn, unwilling to learn, mean, kind, thoughtful…oh wait I said that one already. Drinking while conversing can be great or it can be sheer hell. People who can not hold their liquor tend to repeat themselves, get maudlin, self-righteous, bawdy, and just plain boring. On the other hand, one or two cocktails can open up a closed heart and display its true intent.

Coming to terms with throat cancer, in the June 2011 issue of Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens confronts the art of conversation and the irony of being a writer with “no voice” in his piece Unspoken Truths. One sentence has stuck with me as it describes perfectly how I have felt talking with certain people in my life.

Hitchens writes: “For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one.”

The people I was with the other night, one in particular actually, is capable of deep thought, introspection, sensitivity and intellect. But none of those qualities were in attendance. Perhaps this is what angered me more than the topic itself?

As each day passes and the night grows dim in my memory I feel a bit better but being treated like a pariah leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me sad. I can just hear my teacher’s voice asking me what my role was and what I am attached to.

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