He had something to say to me…
“I see you’re not wearing a ring…” was his opening line to me. I looked over, impressed at such an audacious opener only to see despite the ballsy (and presumptuous, I might add) dialog that his body told me something altogether quite different… Staring ahead, shoulders hunched, neck pulled in and down. While the words spoken indicated a bold confidence, this poor fellow’s lack thereof was painfully transparent with his non-verbal cues. Normally, if some dude uttered that to me while I was minding my own business, it would earn him five across the jaw and a foot in the ass for something so outdated, misogynistic, and arrogant. But when I saw that this poor muffin was just a scared little bunny, I leaned over and purred, “My parole officer says I can’t have gentlemen friends since they switched me from my Thorazine.” I blew him a kiss as I left.
I speak, read, and write the English language exceptionally well. As my mastery of other languages is aphoristic at best, I pick up bits and pieces of foreign dialog to whip out on special occasions. But on the whole my best communication, being a dancer, is body language. The tilt of head and hand, flicker of eye line in conversation, and placement of feet… you can try to hide your intentions from me, but your body betrays your subterfuge. My favourite repartee is between two sets of eyes, and slow smiles. I had one very exciting encounter in Thailand in my roaring 20s, where a ladyboy approached me, and grabbed my hand and held it to her heart. She let my hand follow down, grab her hip and pull her to me. We kissed, two international showgirls, in a sweaty tangle of sequins, and marked each other with our different coloured lipsticks. As we withdrew, we smiled at each other, a beautiful moment and we melted back into the night market.
Not a word was spoken.
In our modern affectations of text, when we pen an email, a Tweet, or some other form of non-verbal digital communique, we have time to consider what we will say. We can self edit and find the right tone of what we are trying to say. Even with this consideration, there are still autocorrect malfunctions and things being misinterpreted with a flippant email being taken the wrong way. This, I’ve experienced, has made it even more of a challenge for people to verbally converse. We get shy, awkward, and worry that things will be taken out of context. But when we’re in person, our bodies help to fill in the gaps of all the unsaid things that hang in the space between us.
I related a story to a friend a few weeks ago about how, at a young age, a family member had thought that I was something of a medium because of my ability to read people uncommonly well, given my tender years. What I appreciate now, as an adult, is it’s not that I can read thoughts, but that years of observation of the human animal and constant silent interaction has taught me all I need to know about getting one’s point across. The combination of what’s spoken with what’s not gives me a clear picture of intention and is an easy gauge to communicate back strongly, both with body and vocals.
Don’t get me wrong: I adore spoken, whispered, sung words spun to me, but sometimes you just need to let your body do the talking…
…And in that regard, I love being a thrilling conversationalist…
Little Miss Risk