Shut Up!

I cannot deal with it when people cannot stop talking. I am shy beyond reason, and almost can never muster up even a word unless I absolutely have to. Doing comedy doesn’t really count as conversation. I’ve already thought it through – I know what I am going to say. I try to go for the absolute minimum amount of words to relay the maximum amount of information. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time and I don’t want to talk more than is necessary.

I met a man who seemed interesting – until he opened his mouth. He wouldn’t shut up. And he kept going. Time slowed down. The seconds dragged. It was boring and monotonous but also incredibly inappropriate – telling me things I didn’t want to hear, and moreover shouldn’t have heard. Family secrets and sexual indiscretion is my trademark, yet I am uncomfortable with others revealing too much. I know it’s not fair, but I can’t help how I feel. I am prudish in ways I don’t care to admit, and I keep to myself in a way I wish would be reciprocated.

This guy wasn’t into that. He wasn’t into give and take. He took the floor and then wouldn’t wouldn’t wouldn’t stop. He went on and on and didn’t seem to notice that I was tuning him out, fading away, diminishing and depleting. I felt as if I was steadily losing air, like an inner tube with a pinhole puncture. My heartbeat started to slow down and dark circles appeared under my eyes. It was beyond boredom. It was like a creeping death, surrounding me and suffocating me. His words and his voice were like weapons, bludgeoning me into oblivion. He went on and on and I felt like I was doomed.

He was vaguely aware of it, and kept saying “you can just tell me to shut up….hee… hee….” and I would have if he hadn’t utterly depleted my strength. The more he talked the less I could respond. Every time he told me to tell him to shut up, the more he talked. He spoke of all his ruined relationships, bad boyfriends and relatives – the unspeakable (yet spoken over and over) cruelty of those who were supposed to love him, but my heart went out to the villains in his endless stories – I could see how he abused others with his small talk. His incessant need for chatter was nothing short of a nightmare.

When he finally left me alone I heard his voice in my head, shattering my peace with musings about shows and films and bands and books and foods and fashions and fads and fabrics and festivals and countries and all things he felt didn’t live up to the hype and albums that he listened to from beginning to end, never song by song, never skipping, hearing them not piecemeal but whole, as the artist had intended him to hear. I was surprised he ever heard anything beyond his own voice. I can still hear him and it is driving me crazy.

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13 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. GOLDEN! “…my heart went out to the villains in his endless stories – I could see how he abused others with his small talk.”

  2. I once worked with a woman who constantly voiced her “inner monologue”. It seemed a very OCD thing to do..or neurotic in SOME way. Anyway, she finally shut up once & I looked up in surprise…She was sleeping!! Lol.

  3. Yes. I call them energy vampires. They need to suck out all our energy to live. Take in all the love at your next show and it will drown him out.

  4. walk away. do NOT say shut up. do NOT say anything. the irony is people have been telling me to walk away for years — yet, some people are NOT detaching. so, now they get an earful. they get plenty of earful moments. yes, your person could be joyless, but walk away. walk away. yes, SHUT UP… some people in my life where you say GO AWAY, but somehow, people have been choosing to eat their crap. oh well. yes, walk away — no la la la la la la….walk away!!

    have a lovely day. p.s. did i ever tell you about the time i used crisco to bake cookies up someone’s ass??

  5. I am good for about 2 minutes of conversation listening/talking and then I am done. This is why when I grew up I now live with dogs.

    You can add to this “shut up’ post people on their cell phones who drone on and on within ear shot, completely disengaged and blind to the world, people, cars, bikes dodging their slow walking, cheeto eating stupidity.

  6. Yeah I’m not a talker either unless it’s pretty interesting ~ same goes for listening.

    How can people not appreciate silence?

  7. Great entry, thank you Margaret. You are such a great writer.

    I can totally relate to this non-stop talker dilemma. My mother’s husband bores me to tears. I come away from his monologues feeling severely dehydrated and in need of a drip.He is ignorant, racist, homophobic and without a shred of self awareness. Talking to him should be listed as an extreme sport along with hand gliding and rock climbing without the safety ropes.

    Reading your entry makes me feel like next time I am in the horrible situation, and enduring his monotonous crap stream, I should DO something in my defence. Not sure what, yet (have been googling ‘how to cope with people who don’t stop talking).

    But one thing is for sure, I am NOT going to come away feeling like I want to cry for the 1000th time.


  8. You have the right to remain silent! I actually may have started talking to you as a premise to flood the ”watchers”/listeners with a mountain data they’ll have to sift through for their golden tidbits to use in their glib and smarmy blogs. See, you are suffering from the delusion that I and my activities are to be constrained by your small one world, one lifetime, one body point of view .More often than not I’m engaging you in conversation so that I may address the various surveillance systems you may or may not be aware of,but never the less are becoming evermore prevalent .Other times I ‘m actually unzipping and expanding a compressed digital data file I’ve downloaded from an interstellar gamma wave transmission on my endo-cellular neurophone and am duty bound to do so! I’m like the proverbial tree in the forest who’s inevitable fall will certainly make a sound ….or more really send a rushing cascade of vibrations emanating through space and time perhaps to wreck and perish on the desolate and forbidding shores of your ear canal,or to transcend to higher vibrational planes of the Vikuntha Lokas. But I do apologize for keeping you awake for days on end……etc etc blah blah bl…I’m not sure if I’d fall for it these day but its worth a try as a child when I couldn’t be quiet a titty always shut me up quite nicely! ! ….whats that ? oh you were talking about that other guy ! ooops never mind , disregard almost everything I said

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