L’esprit de l’escalier

For those unfamiliar with the expression, it is the sensation of realising the perfect thing to say, too late: the retort that only comes on the stairs on the way out, the graceful topic or sparkling joke that you think of the next morning. For those unfamiliar with the sensation: lucky devils. We the hapless can only watch you wistfully. “Ha!” I hear you scoff, Gentle Reader. “You don’t seem to have any trouble with words; god knows you use enough of them”. But no.

It is true that I have plenty to say, and can be persuaded to say it by dropping your hat. But I am also one of those who, while not strictly quiet, suffers from a quiet voice. For a lifetime I have attempted to add a merry quip to the conversation, to be crushed under the awful weight of “What?”. Timing is everything; it really can’t be witty the second time ‘round. And social equals noisy. Try the theory; if you find it wanting, comment using the conveniently provided buttons. Webster and New Collegiate Whatsisname may have forgotten to include it under “Social, adj.”, but I defy anyone to prove me wrong. So I have resigned myself to a lifetime of smiling, nodding, and trying to get a word in edgewise —spoken slowly, clearly, using expected vocabulary.

But wait! A glow pervades my being! My spirit soars! I have a blog! I can be heard! I can say anything I want to! I can use the words I desire, the cadence which pleases me, all the foreign expressions and arcane subjects I wish and never, Gentle Reader, never will I be interrupted! O happy medium of blogging! All the brilliant insights, the comebacks that were too late, the marvellous dialogues in my head (yes, dash it) —they have a place! How long has this been going on? Now I understand the passion for connectivity, this infinite forum for infinite e-speech that others have so long gorged on! At last I begin to understand the electronic age! Hurrah!

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