Tuesday, August 06, 2013

"What Can I Help You Find?"

One-a-Day Redux
Day Six:  Makes You Smile

Sometimes I get tickled at the inner workings of my own mind. It's as if a tiny librarian lives in there, one who's been on the job for a long, long time and has become somewhat officious, thinking she knows better than I do what specific piece of information I require at any given time. She won't give me access to anything without first looking it over herself.

My inner librarian has aged right along with me and takes frequent breaks these days. She was either on a break or otherwise too busy the other night to hand me the word "sunroof" when I needed it during a phone conversation. Left on my own, I had to fumble through the mental files and settle for "whaddayacallit, that window in the top of a car."

When she's on the job, though, she's a whirlwind of activity. I believe it is she who, upon receiving notice from my eyes that they've spotted a particular phrase on the side of a passing 18-wheeler, pops a record onto her little turntable and plays a song with a similar phrase in its lyrics. It is she who eagerly pulls random volumes off the shelf and tosses them onto the table so that my thoughts can't focus on Points A, B and C without considering the peripherally related Points Q, R, S and X, Y and Z. I'm pretty sure it's the meddling librarian who encourages my fascination with accents and, when she detects brain synapses firing in response to an interesting dialect, bombards me with every resource available to ensure that I fix that speech pattern in my mind, at least for a while. That would explain what happened this morning.

In bed last night I finished reading an e-book about plantation life in Virginia at the beginning of the Civil War, then downloaded and devoured the first three chapters of a sequel before turning out the light. Dialect is more than just a writing technique used in those two books; it's also a topic, as one character holds secret classes to teach reading, writing and proper grammar to slaves in order to better prepare them for a life of freedom. I read until well after midnight.

This morning, still half asleep as I put on my robe to take the dogs outside, I heard myself mumble these words, my first words of the day: "Levi, we don' be takin' no tennis balls out."

That. That kind of crazy stuff makes me smile. And roll my eyes and shake my head.

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