"working on my faults and cracks..."


tell all your friends of the boy from which your accent comes

Have you ever thought about humble pie? Wondered if it were actually a dessert dish? I mean, pie should just be pie, right? Apple, peach, blueberry, lemon meringue, key lime--a fruity universe of choice. But what if it were more of a meaty, crusty, zesty, dinner-worthy entree? An agonizing chore to douse with ketchup and choke down before going to watch Full House? I oft wonder if the response to this humble conundrum is not unlike the "glass half-empty/full" metaphor. Well anyway, it's taken me the better part of 18 months to eat all the way down to the pie tin, and I still have no idea. Seems like all I've got to show for it is an unpleasant metallic aftertaste, and these ketchup stains on my shirt.

Time in the Japanese language has taught me a lot about my own native English--usage of adjectives and their synonyms, mostly. The ongoing process that began a little over five years ago, has been an exhausting trial in patience and frustration, as well as a grim lesson in frivolity, complete with all the haphazard convenience most often tucked behind a blaring red "As Seen on TV" sticker.

I've recently begun to liken the experience of learning a foreign language to a human being learning to walk (a period in my life I remember with miraculous clarity, smartass). It begins with painstaking first steps, as learning patterns are established, and a basic foundation is laid. With the passing of time, your ability and confidence slowly grow. Then, knowing neither physical limitation nor fear of failure, you learn to run at a reckless, broken pace. Head filled with pride, naivety, and the reassurance that you've finally got everything figured out, you pack your life in a suitcase and move to a land of fellow walkers to put your newfound ability to the test.
Upon arrival, you find that it's a place where everyone already knows not only how to walk, but how to run, how to climb up and down, how to balance the low-wire, the high-wire, and the checkbook. They can cartwheel, shimmy, samba, and perform a nearly unlimited range of other movements available exclusively to those with long legs and a pair of feet (ostriches, kangaroos, and Jesus lizards notwithstanding). But somehow the expectations were different. You hadn't expected them to take these gifts for granted. Your raging hard-on for bipedal locomotion quickly deflates with the enthusiasm on which it rode, as the realization that all the time in the books was spent towards giving you a skill that everyone else has innately possessed since spilling from the womb.

So the hastily-concluded moral to my anticlimactic shitpile of a story, still fresh in its telling?

Two feet, do not a record-setting Olympian make.


5 contributions to this piece:

Valerie said...

Bad day at work?

Michelle said...

Remember all the time they have to spend in the books to be able to come here, too. We all possess innate skills; it's just a matter of recognizing and attaching value to them.

Dagbert said...

Bad day at work... Not really. Just waking up and smelling the pie.

Oh, and no books for these guys--they were born with it.

Fonz said...

You have a way with metaphors, always masterfully crafted for excellent emphasis.

When I came to "Your raging hard-on for bipedal locomotion quickly deflates with the enthusiasm on which it rode" I remembered why your blog kicks ass and is worth checkin in on.

Best of luck with your walk

Dagbert said...

Actually wasn't a metaphor. I totally had a hard-on.

Thanks tho.

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