My mind is filled with thousands of words and phrases; an abundance of pleasant things I can say.

Pleasant phrases work with strangers who only want pleasant things. “Can I have a skinny cappuccino please? Thank you
and have a nice day”

Pleasant phrases let me down too. When I need to speak, “No, Stop!”  but those pleasant phrases come instead, “Thank you,
and have a nice day”. 

Violated, the ugly pleasing words trill around my mind and I know there is no point practising better words because they never come out when I need them,
So what is the point?

Pleasant phrases fill space while words are dragged out one by one and strung together from brain to mouth. A translation from rich mind-language to speech-language. The translation is poor and painful to hear.

Some have said they appreciate the way I pause  in conversations. Sometimes they fill spaces up with their own words.
I think they like that too.

Do they notice the way I close my eyes and tilt my head back slightly for a moment, shutting everything out to make the translation from mind-language to speech-language for them?

My wife notices.

She has memories of together times when the days were not so long and full with children and work. When we laughed at my joyous prattle in her company.

Now I just can’t. I am sorry.
She says she understands.

Later, when the house is dark, and quiet, we lie in bed with our youngest between us. In this liminal state between wake and sleep, I exhale, close my eyes and finally,

The words pour out.

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