I Never Believe Anything Until I Hear it in Words

I never believe anything until I hear it in words. Not the latest news story or an outlandish business claim, but every emotion I feel. Every thought I think about the value of an action. Every evaluation of a person or an experience. I don’t feel, save through words.

I experience an event literally, then I relate it to myself literarily, and finally I experience it emotionally. It’s like a translation from a language I can’t comprehend into my native tongue. There’s a gap between when the shit hits the fan and when I react to the collision, and that space is me telling a story.

No pain of tragedy is felt, no anger of betrayal, not even the physical beauty of a girl is fully understood until I’ve put words to it. And whatever I tell myself in that moment is truth. It is the reality of what I will experience. My life is closed-captioned to the deaf man inside of me.

Every worthwhile sexual fantasy I’ve ever had was related through words. When I was a teenager, I’d write these stories in my head with some sense of permanency. I’d lay in bed in the dark and compose a narrative that would excite me. I had plots that I would expand and solidify across the span of months. Fantasizing meant an editing session. There were sentences that stayed and those which evolved, but every word choice was critical. You’d think there’d be a rehearsal and a performance, but you’d be wrong. I’ve never been above revising mid-performance. Creation and execution are one in the same. It’s a pursuit of perfection. The art is more important than the audience.

I even dream in words. I am practically blind in the dream world. It is a world completely devoid of details except for those which will be of importance later—these I describe to myself. If it doesn’t matter, then you wont have an eye color. If you’re just an anonymous person at the party, you wont have a face. Don’t bother asking me how large the room was—that was never a factor—the room didn’t have walls.

Maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed with words; with grammar, vocabulary, even etymology at times. Words give me the power and the tools with which to think. They allow me to feel. Without them I couldn’t solve problems. Without them I wouldn’t care.