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Stammering Genius This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Why must my stutter define me? Why must I feel like a fool in the simplest of social situations? Did I annoy God or does He just enjoy screwing with my already fragile ego? Did I really annoy You, oh Great One? Forget any hope of help; You can't give me that, can You?

No one knows what to do; they can put a man on the moon, but they can't let me talk like a normal person. Sure, everyone has suggestions, but they haven't the slightest idea what they are talking about unless they have a stutter, in which case, how can they help me if they can't help themselves?

That doesn't stop people from offering their solutions to a problem they think depends completely on personal choice. Luke had the guts to ask if I had tried "just not stuttering."

Oh my gosh, I never knew it was that simple! I had never tried not stuttering. I wish I had thought of that when I couldn't get my name out at my first job interview. I wish Luke had bestowed that knowledge on me before my oral presentation, when I couldn't even stammer my way through the ordeal in front of 50 of my classmates. If only Luke had come into my life earlier, through all those awkward silences while I suffocated on my own words or the veins in my neck bulged as I tried to get out my last name - if only I had tried not stuttering! Now I can live my life a better, more fluent man because of Luke, oh, thank the good Lord above ... Luke, you idiot.

I should give Luke an idea of what it's like next time he's talking and just punch him in the throat. Maybe then he'll feel what it's like to have your throat - which was functioning fine just three minutes ago - lock up and crush your words back down your esophagus like an ant being flattened by a pick-up truck. Then maybe I could have his gift, his true gift of uninhibited speech and verbal expression. Maybe if someone out there lost it for a day, maybe they would understand, maybe they would feel the prison I feel, formed by my own limited vocabulary. Maybe one day they will appreciate their gift from God. Because right now, this is the only place I can say what I mean, what I feel, the way I want to say it ... my mind. It's the only place I'm perfectly fluent. Maybe I'll stay here awhile ...

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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ELM522 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm
This is an excellent piece!  I've stuttered my whole life too, and people have suggested that I "just stop stuttering!"  This describes what stuttering actually feels like in great detail.  I'm glad it was published into the magazine to inform people!
 
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