I have a lot of conversations in my head. Just this morning when I was thinking about writing this column and how it should go, I bet four different voices chimed in, each of them telling me what to write and how to write it. It’s like the Golden Girls are living in my head.
It’s what happens every time I go buy a lottery ticket. I’m trying to fill in the little bubbles, which for me is a task that requires the amount of concentration one must apply to detonating a bomb, and I have four voices screaming at me.
“Why did you fill in 57? I said 37. Why do I even bother to give you advice?” one voice says.
“Someone take this pencil away from this moron,” one of the other voices says. “I hope he stabs himself in the eye with it.”
Still another voice, probably Blanche, says, “I bet everyone is looking at my butt while I’m filling in these numbers. I think I’ll just moisten the pencil tip on my tongue.”
And that’s when I usually stab myself in the eye. If you think that’s a circus, you should see us try to order dinner. Pitiful.
Most of the time, though, the conversations in my head are usually a revision of an exchange I had with a Chanel-clad, surgically altered matron in Highland Park Village in Dallas who directed her assistant to take the last baguette at the Tom Thumb grocery store. The actual conversation went like this:
“Excuse me,” I say with my best Highland Park smile, a smile to be used only on the Miss America runway or when speaking to social inferiors. “Yes, excuse me, but I was reaching for that baguette. We’re having a little lunch at the dog park, and Susie told me I’m in charge of getting the baguettes.”
I can’t see her eyes behind the pair of last month’s Louis Vitton sunglasses she’s wearing, but I figure that lip job set her back a pretty penny, and the poor thing can’t afford new eyewear. And then she says, to her assistant no less:
“Consuela, is that man talking to me? He is? Well, give him a quarter, and tell him Betsy is looking for a new gardener.”
She walks away, her assistant trailing behind carrying the baguettes, leaving me holding the empty tongs.
But then later, sometimes years later, I’m going over that conversation in my head, except this time it’s Julia Sugarbaker and Madea paying rent up in there. I’m driving down the road, and the three of us are giving that Highland Park baggage what for. It’s the way the conversation should have gone.
“Oh no you di’int,” I’m saying in my crowded head, Madea and Julia cheering me on. “Now I know you saw me reaching for that bread. Reach for it again and see what happens. I can tell by the looks of you that you got yourself a bunch of doctors trying to make you look like every other skinny gal in Highland Park, but you’re gonna need a proctologist to get this bread out if you come near it again. Now do yourself a favor and turn around in those Jimmy Choo knockoffs and git on outta here before I really get mad. Go on now. Scoot.”
That’s how it really should have gone down. By this time, I’m so into the conversation, rocking my head back and forth on my shoulders, that I don’t realize I’ve swerved out of my lane a bit until I see the flashing lights behind me.
“Good morning, sir,” the police officer says. “License and proof of insurance, please.”
“Oh was I doing something wrong?” I ask. “See you don’t understand. I was just thinking about something, and I probably zoned out just a little. You understand, right? A ticket? Oh, ok. Sign right there? Well, of course, officer. I’m so sorry.”
Oh he’s in charge now. Sure. But just wait until the voices and I tear him a new one later. Boy is he really going to get it.