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Robin Writes: Don’t Call. Please.

Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 6:39 am

By Robin Garrison Leach

Thank goodness for Google. I was scrolling through endless news snippets of little importance, when I my eyes jittered to a halt.

The information I read finally gave a name to a disease I’ve been struggling with nearly all my life.


My condition started a long time ago; from the first time I stuttered self-consciously into a handset that connected me to another human.

All it took was a “hello” on the other end. I was immediately stricken with an inability to form coherent sentences. The words I had planned to use jumbled into  Jabberwocky gibberish.

Boyfriends mumbled declarations of “like”, and my brain suddenly froze. Of course, I had many clever responses ready—ones I’d rehearsed a million times, just in case I needed them.

I had planned to chuckle throatily and lower my voice to a whisper. I wouldn’t act excited or surprised. He liked me, and I had to convey my teasing amusement.

“OHhhhh. GOOood”. I squealed like a cat whose tail had been rocked over.

Now. I can converse just fine if I see eyes. If a person is in front of me. Animals are easy to talk to. Even objects, if they make me mad.

The tin can phones we made as kids didn’t bother me, because I could still see my brother down at the end of the string.

But put me behind a remote device and ask me to respond to a disembodied voice?

I’m an idiot with bad grammar and halting words that give the impression of an impending stroke.