Actions Speak Louder Than Words

“Ind whaat jid ju du?

A sudden pause into awkwardness and then resume back into the lady with orange hair, whose name at this time I do not yet know, seeming unusually curious about who this me,  she knows as a stranger, is.

She turned her head fast enough for me to notice her hair swing and her question was posed to me even before her eyes met mine.

As I could sense, my mom gave me a serious doubtful, worrying look, telling me that “I’d better get these words out if I know what’s best for me.”

Without turning my head I move my eyes out of the direction of the lady and towards my mom, searching for wisdom through her expressions.

She attempts to mouth the words over to me, I wished she would have actually spoke these words, as whatever it is she tried to tell me, I did not understand.

“ Ju herd me? I say what jid ju du?”

“I uh...I live with her,  in Phili-Philadelphia, you know because she is my mom.” Sure that I answered her question pretty spot on I attempt to start a quick session of laughter up.

“What?! No what ju do? What ju did?

My mouth went slightly agape as I slowly tried to blow some type of response out of my mouth. There was no hope. The woman’s accent was too strong to understand, it was incomprehensible, this short lived conversation came to a fast and sad death. With her tolerance level reaching the lowest level and me killing some of her confidence, I decided enough was enough. I figured that now, the best thing would be to resort back to the language that my mother taught me, and what I believe every human that exists, and has existed speaks, Body Language.

My mouth, slightly agape, and with my heightening eyebrows, shaking head and guessing face, I told her that I was unsure about what she said.

My mom shakes her head in disappointment.

The orange hair lady silently, approvingly nodding her head but in a disapproving manner, as if she knew from the beginning of my incompetence. She took to head turns above me, to the left then to the right and spotted something that would give her the opportunity to leave. She slowly turned away and began stepping as if to say either that we are somewhere under her or that, at least, the situation had gotten too awkward for her to take part in further. And though this was how she walked, I got the strange sense that we were both somewhat relieved to have ended this conversation.

There’s multiple layers to Body Language, though words tend to have their own days of complexity, Body Language is an entirely different book, there’s different rules, different meanings. A yawn in your 3rd period class is different than a yawn at midnight, trying to type up a paper. If you can learn anything from a person by them just opening their mouths, then Body Language is going to give you an entire backstory on a person, or people I should say. With this in mind I’m feeling out everyone’s handshake, actions speak louder than words.

My mom then took a step closer to me and gave me a firm slap on the head. She told me to “ Act like you got some sense,” or some similar phrase she could use to demonstrate her anger towards me, the words I felt redundant because she had already sent her feelings through with the slap. Apparently this lady was her co worker, really high up in the workplace and had such a relationship with the boss that she could bring some notice to my mom and maybe put a good word in for her. Her techniques were pretty sad and desperate, if you were to ask me, but I didn’t care for long as I remembered well she did walk away from the conversation. We talked about what happened for a bit, then I decided I’d take a break and let my mom try to sell herself elsewhere. The fruit punch dispenser seemed might inviting, and by it was a bench that I could sit down on, so this is where I would spend the next while.

I set back, slouched and relaxed, drinking fruit punch in my suit, watching my mom making her way into the next conversation, this one seemed to be going well.  I took my eyes off of her gazed around at the others in this work-party-event and how their conversations were going, these well too. They all worked together for years, so they all pretty muched knew each other, one another’s lifestyle, story, about their family and what not, so each conversation seemed genuine, and “active.” They were practically dancing, in my eyes, everyone moving their arms about and describing…

“He’s this big now…”

I heard a woman yell out, it was funny watching how people socialized using their bodies, I began to study to see how, but I fell right to sleep, with the fruit punch still between my hands.

“What joins all languages, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, outwit death…” these were the words that began my dream. “People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances…”

I dream of dolphins. A pack of dolphins swimming together, they’re in search of a meal. They realize that hunting as an individual is not a viable tactic for any of them, their prey will easily escape their reach, I watched by on the sideline, as I did with the people in this event tonight. I observed the pack surround a school of fish. The dolphins use a language of their own, with clicks and ultrasounds and slowly, but surely, the dolphins found what is is they wanted.

“There have been, and are, times, and places, when to speak a certain language can be dangerous, even fatal,” the voice said to me, I was unaware of who the voice was, and had no time to identify it, the scene shifted, as dreams do.

I’m now observing hornets. Personally I hate hornets and am usually terrified by them, but at this particular moment I grew a bit of sympathy for them. Humans are fairly destructive creatures by their nature, and my dream instinct told me immediately they were here to build, and inevitably kill hornets. Little do they know, they had already communicated enough language to the point to bring out the Giant Hornets, and have the hornets kill them all. Hornets are very territorial, and to them, the humans sent a message of threat to their hives. I watched safely away as the hornets relentlessly stung them each one by one.

I woke up, disrupted by the clapping in the room. I looked up to see everyone who had been standing up “dancing,” now sitting, facing the direction of a projection of what had seemed to be a short movie or something with excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I tried my way back to sleep only had the time to identify the speaker as Mr.Cohen, he had been reading it to us, he read them from a passage written by James Baldwin, then in what seemed to be no time, I woke up again with another firm slap.

“Get up!” My mom sits down next to me.

I look up at her like it’s 8 am on a school day, the presentation is still going, so as I do in mornings, I took some time to think. “What joins all languages, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, to outwit death...” a quote by James Baldwin, in his “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” If there is a time when a living thing needs another living thing, struggles without it or can helped with it, language is born, body language is. This is the truth, James Baldwin. So If there is a creature with some type of intelligence, or some type of conscious, then it has used body language.  And from body language alone, you know who I am, or at least what I am. I am human. I am human and I do

Comments (1)

Miriam Sachs (Student 2017)
Miriam Sachs

A moment that grabbed me is when you dream about the dolphins, and how you relate how dolphins communicate to what is happening in the room. This essay is really original because you focused on body language instead of spoken language. Knowing the movements of the people in the story helped the reader feel as if they were there during each second of the story. Responding with body language to a verbal question is unexpected, which encourages someone to keep reading.