15/5/2021 I suffer from a peculiar problem. I frequently feel a bit stupid after opening my mouth. Usually in the context of trying to communicate or explain something emotionally laden, whether in speech or by text message or email.
Where does this come from? One friend thought it must come from somewhere as opposed to nowhere, but I haven’t yet managed to locate its origin. There is little mystery in the recent spate of stupidity attacks, however: attempting to communicate pain, even to friends, is not an easy business, and talking to doctors is almost guaranteed to make you feel stupid. Whether intentional or not, doctors who don’t make you feel this way seem to be in the minority.
While trying to think of a possible source for this feeling, and the contexts in which I might have originally experienced it, I remembered something that happened when I was fifteen or sixteen. I was walking with a friend to a rehearsal on an orchestra course – somewhere in the Malverns, I believe – when I exclaimed, ‘Wow, look at that tree!’
My friend responded: ‘Yal, it’s just a tree.’
I should have learned my lesson by that age, several years into teenagehood. I should have learnt to keep my mouth shut. I felt stupid, and I felt upset.