i have recently decided the two below sentences/phrases are becoming favorites of mine:
-‘i’m a little _______.’
-‘it isn’t awful.’
i swoon in their presence for at least two reasons:
1) i’m a sucker for intentional understatement.
2) i’m a bigger sucker for intentional understatement that also purposefully leaves open a rather large window of interpretation.
3) i swoon easily.
‘i’m a little’ is most often, i think, a sweet lie. ‘i’m a little’ really means ‘i am.’
or, perhaps ‘i am, but i don’t want to be’ or ‘i am but i’d rather it not show or affect the situation.’
‘i’m a little tired’ can mean ‘please take me home’ coming from a spouse or significant other who doesn’t want to appear to be giving orders.
‘i’m a little tipsy’ can mean ‘you can’t really judge what i have to say from here on out, but i hope we keep talking.’ (it can also mean, ‘i’m really effing tipsy, so just see what happens if you keep toeing the line.’)
‘i’m a little hungry’ = ‘if i don’t eat soon, i’m gonna throw a damn fit, turn into a whiny biatch, and/or bite your head off,’ especially if those words were muttered by the author of this post.
* * *
‘it isn’t awful.’
is . . . if i were discussing this in person, i’d be a little giddy with the potential meaning of such a sentence. i would be pacing the room, spinning my wedding ring with my thumb, and looking for props.
‘it isn’t awful’ can mean anything. it’s a swiss-army-knife of sentences. it can be a dead pan delivery after trying the steak at the best restaurant in new york. or a true, genuine compliment given to a first time baker when the collapsed cake still . . . isn’t awful.
it can be a disparaging insult masked in polite conversation when discussing someone else’s outfit at a social gathering.
it can be a confidence boost from one brother, walking with a slight limp, to the brother who still has yet to go get his whuppin’ from dad.
i love language because words, words like:
‘i’m a little _____’
‘it isn’t awful.’
tell the entire story and they don’t. and i . . . i love it when language tells the story of us. we tell our entire stories with our words but we don’t; we also tell that story with our body language, with what we do not say, with the tone or inflection of our deliveries.
i love that chase.
i love chasing the complete story – refusing to hear a story come to an end without leaning forward and asking,
‘. . . and?’
i love refusing to ever believe the story is over, because i do not believe a complete story can ever actually be told. it has to be hunted, pursued . . . the complete story needs to be desired, not expected.
the complete story, whatever is, to whomever it belongs,
needs to be
and not expected.
i think i’m done now.