It was at summer camp, we were sitting on the Rainbow Treebench. I stopped staring at the other people near our cabins and looked over my shoulder. “You know, I got something to say to you.”
“Really? What’s that?”
“Well, you know me and I know you quite well,”
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve never met someone like you and probably never will again. I cherish this friendship of ours and I’ve been looking for a best friend. I offer the title to you, do you accept?”
Those were the words I used at 11:43 pm one July night this past summer. I spoke with fear, uncertainty, and emotion. All three of which, are characteristics I rarely exhibit in public. Now I won’t tell you the end of the story, as I have a very private personality and don’t like to share those types of details. The main point, I should point out, is that most people know me to speak with confidence and with authority, as well as trying be non emotional as possible. I know that I speak very differently in different situations but why? I think it’s my past that holds the secrets.
You see we all speak a different language, whether it be Pig Latin, German, or one of the other 6000 plus languages spoken. There is however another thing that sets us apart, out tone and manner in which we speak, for each person they have their own very unique past. Although they may choose not to reveal it, it comes out in the words they speak. Some may speak in a very personal manner or others in a distant and monotone way as I prefer. You see, as Richard Rodriguez writes about his childhood, “Outside the house was public society, inside was private.” We all have our boundaries, whether it be our school, home, or friends. For each of those situations, we all speak differently, a different coding or programming for the different places and people in our lives. See our parents may try to rear us in a manner that is proper to them so they may request that their son or daughter speak politely and so as sons and daughters we do. When we are around friends however, they may not care or have the same values as our parents and that allows us to talk however we feel.
When you meet a new person, some may opt to say nothing and give a polite nod of the head as I do, others may choose to greet them with a nice hello and a handshake like the rest of my family. This is all is dependent on our background and upbringing, as well as where we come from geographically. As James Baldwin wrote, “A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living in Marseilles; neither sounds very much like a man living in Quebec;” I speak English and even though at least 220 millions others do as well, each of us has a distinct "Speak". Our “Speaks” can set us apart from others by the words we use, tone, pronunciation and so on, giving ourselves our own method uniqueness.
At school and in most any place I speak as Richard Rodriguez describes about his school memories, I speak, “Directed towards a general audience, words meaningfully said and clearly spoken.” I tend to also be more general with my sentences, making sure to include as much details of my audience as possible. By doing so I can create an authoritative and inclusive setting. I also tend to bring in very big words to portray how knowledgeable I am. A great example was my daily conversations with my old history teacher.
“How are you doing today Chuckie?”
“I am doing alright, a bit exhausted and exasperated about members for a group project I am doing.”
I need not to go further as the key word is “exasperated.” I am pretty sure that most kids would use the word “annoyed” because that is the word they know for this type of situation. I, on the other hand happen to know the definition which I will refrain from stating as not to bore you. Before I continue, even now I write in a "Speak" that is completely different than my others. I have a writing "Speak", as well as my general and personal "Speak". My writing "Speak" is such that only when I write can I say what I want to and not trip myself up while thinking on the fly compared to speaking what I want and saying the possible way. However, my favorite and most reserved "Speak", is my personal tone, only revealed to my closest confidants. I never use it in a public situation, and if I do it is all by accident.
My personal “Speak” is filled with a oodles of emotion, dancing from happiness to query in a single sentence, then dodging fear and landing on uncertainty in the next. It decloaks my hidden side from those who are not worthy of reading the book about my past. See, some event happened in my past, and it showed me how susceptible I was to ridicule shutting me off from my old way of speaking. I made a complete turn with the way I began to speak to people in public whom I didn’t know well, and only when people have gained my trust do I feel comfortable speaking my personal “Speak.”So now that I have given you a glance of what it is like to be Chuckie, I should sum up things. Trying to balance other people's opinions and feelings as well as my way of talking is tough. Sometimes when I try and switch between the three “Speaks” things get jumbled, said the wrong way, or lost in translation. I do change my “Speak” for the people I’m around because otherwise I would be a mess, a very confusing one no less. Being me however, represents us all and each person's distinct way of being and language to others.