I struggle with words. Sometimes I can not speak at all for I've undergone selective mutism. It's a part of my illness. I am ashamed but I know if people knew that the electrical circuit in between my neurons had a short they may be more understanding of my awkwardness. I have learned to enjoy my time alone. Since words always deem to fail my expression for life and others I've begun to notice the small things around me. When walking down the cracked weeded sidewalk I notice the well planted flowers surrounded by gigantic hungry bees. I watch as they collect the dusty sweet nectar from bud to bud. Sticking my hand out in hesitation, I feel the same petal a bee is pollinating inside of and once we have each other's attention, I wave gently hoping that he accepts my peaceful interference and considers me a friend. I continue this with insects and animals. My plea for friendship is always accepted. I tried this on humans once. I began by standing at a two arms length distance and merely watching. I observed the way their muscles flexed when they lifted something from the table. The way they apply pressure on the balls of their feet when they are standing in place. The way sweat perspires from the top of their forehead down to their temple and glides gently down the side of their face. Their eyes are always so kind and warm. Maybe that's part of the reason why I can never seem to speak around them. It was a dusky evening and after being on my feet all day without a break and enhanced hormones my body began to reject labor. My arms began to shake and I could feel the electrical currents begin to bump around and start shocking each other. I tried lifting the Five pound tray but I just couldn't. I was afraid to look around for fear of becoming a martyr for weakness. My eyes began to swell up with stubborn tears as I became embarrassed of my shortcomings. "Hey can you pass me a straw?'' I heard him ask politely. I step aside to grab one and as I do he lifts the tray. Looking up at him, as I add the straw to the tray, he meets my eyes, winks and says "Thank you". I couldn't believe the rush of emotions I felt nor could I believe his kindness and compassion. I hurried to my secret quiet spot and quickly but gently cried seasonal tears of a waterfall. The time of year was that of giving and since my mind fails me in vocabulary and speech I decided to give him a token of my appreciation. Now I'm not too sure what he likes but after watching him for a while I noticed he wore the same shoes every day for work. I looked at the brand logo and found that the shoe company was having a wide scale sale on all of their products. Luckily, they sold more than shoes. I don't have much but hopefully I can show how much his kindness means to me.
The next day I went early to the store and bought him a twenty dollar gift card and I had it wrapped with a bow and a card that said thank you for the other day. I myself have never celebrated this gifting holiday but maybe, hopefully, I am sending the right message. Walking into work later that evening felt odd. My hands were sweaty despite the cold front that came in, and my heartbeat was fast and irregular. I felt a rush of anxiety course through me as my electrical currents moved twice their speed. Taking a deep breath I attempt to calm myself when he suddenly walks by. "Hey", I unintentionally shout at him, "can we speak for a few minutes um please just for a second?" He seemed confused and a bit on guard. Oh gosh why did I have to start this off like a toddler with a blow horn. We stand in my secret quiet place and he stares at me patiently, expectantly. Not knowing how to begin I pull out the gift wrapped box and hold it out towards him. He stares at it and doesn't make any move to grab it. Feeling pressured and silly I plead like a mouse asking for a cookie, "Please". Finally after my heart skips a few more beats he grabs it, inspects the box, reads the card and then opens it. His face looks shocked and excited and concerned all at once. Feeling myself in the beginning stages of mutism I quickly say in a quiet almost Whisper like voice, "you helped me and I'm grateful for your kindness. Please take this. I don't know how else to express it, please. Oh and um thank you". Stepping back an inch I keep my eyes glued to his chest watching it rise and fall awaiting a response. "You know you didn't have to do this, I would always help you when I see you're in need. Thank you so much. This means, gosh this really means a lot. Thank you". Despite my efforts I couldn't hold back the rain from my cloudy vision. Ending the moment with a heartfelt hug and a satisfied circuit. As soon as he walked away my mutism began like clockwork. I put in my headphones, tune them to the 80s feel good music and then I take a healing walk around the block. As I do this I walk up to the flowers and the bees and I breathe in the fresh air with them. The bees have been teaching me this entire time and I finally heard them. When we work hard and do good deeds those deeds multiply and shine brightness into others life. Bees gather nectar, make honey and make people happy. Helping others inspires a domino effect of goodness and kindness to be passed along. Even if I have an intense electrical circuit it doesn't mean my kindness is ever overlooked and my friends can vouch for that.