The Man Who Talks To Himself

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I talk to myself because I’m the only person who I’m sure will listen to what I have to say. When I talk to other people, they always seem to be paying more attention to something else. I’ll be in the middle of a great story and their cell phone will ring and they say, “Sorry, I have to take this,” and maybe it’s their periodontist calling to remind them to schedule another gum-scraping procedure, and they get so excited and interested, they hang on the line joking about rotting gums, and spinach caught between people’s teeth. By the time they’re off the phone, I can’t even remember what my story was about.

Yeah, I talk to myself because I’m such a good listener. But I also give pretty good advice. I tell other people about something that’s bothering me, or ask them what they think about a problem, and they give terrible advice. With most people it’s best to do the opposite of whatever they tell you to do. You wonder, are they giving you bad advice on purpose and saving the good advice for themselves, or is this really the best advice they have to offer?

I asked my banker where he invests his money. He said, “Oh, I wouldn’t tell you to do what I did. I lost all my retirement savings in soybean futures.”

“What do you know about soybean futures?”

“When my wife became a vegan she started buying all these soy products, Veganaise and tofu, Beanie Beano and soy roast beast, so I thought it was a craze that was sweeping the country and that pretty soon soybeans would be more valuable than gold. But it didn’t work out so well. The farmers had a bumper crop and the bottom fell out of the market, and then I forgot about it until one day this commodities broker calls me up and asks me where I want my order delivered, and I realized that since I hadn’t sold my position in time I had to take delivery on two train cars of soybeans. Now I’ve got a big pile of ’em in my backyard. You need any soybeans?”

Yeah, I talk to myself, because I’m always paying attention to what I say, but you’d be surprised how many times I have a question and when I ask the question I have no idea what the answer is, but if I wait a second, the answer comes to me. No matter how stupid I may be, there’s a part of me that’s a genius if I just talk to him, and then I don’t have to pay some expert idiot for advice that’s not worth the hot air it took to blab it out.

It used to look kind of strange when people saw me on the street talking to myself. Yeah, I used to get a lot of looks. A lot of that finger- spinning-around-their-ear gestures, elbowing each other in the ribs, and snickering kind of stuff going on. It used to piss me off and I’d get into fights, or at least I’d get into fights with myself about whether or not to get into fights. I’d see somebody making fun of me like that and I’d ask, “Should I kill this guy? Should I hit him with a rock?”

I’d answer myself, “Calm down; you know you’ll be sorry later on. Just let it pass. This guy obviously has got a bad case of hemorrhoids. Look at the poor bastard. He can’t sit down and now he’s constipated, too; he’s so afraid to take a crap because he knows how much it’ll hurt. This guy is suffering enough. Plus he probably hasn’t had a date in five years, and he’s got a booger as big as Kansas hanging out of his nose. Why do you need to add anything to all that suffering?”

“How about if I just curse him for all eternity?”

“Yeah, that’s OK if you do it quietly. But why waste a perfectly good curse on a schmuck like that? If you’re going to curse, curse somebody worth cursing. Who’s Cleveland playing against tonight? Curse them. That’ll make the whole town feel better if it works.”

I went to a psychiatrist once. I was seeing some girl and she said, “I like you a lot, but I don’t know how serious I can get with someone who’s always talking out loud to themselves. Maybe you should see someone and ask them about that. Maybe they have some medicine they could give you.”

So the psychiatrist asks me, “Do you hear voices in your head?” And I say, “No, just one voice.” And he says, “Whose voice is it? Is it God’s voice?” And I tell him, “Of course not. What would God be doing in my head?” Then he tells me he thinks I should come back to see him every week for 150 bucks a session. I said to myself, “He thinks you’re crazy.” And I answered, “Yeah, you’d have to be crazy to give 150 bucks a week to a guy who thinks that God is inside your head talking all the time. Give me the money and I’ll save it for a trip to Las Vegas.”

Then I went to Vegas and started playing craps, and everybody there was talking to themselves. “C’mon seven, c’mon roll a seven! Baby needs a new pair of shoes!” I fit right in. Wound up 500 bucks ahead, quit and took myself out for a night on the town. Nobody knows how to have as much fun as I do. Great dinner, great show, and always a great conversation.

Posted , by Ray Lesserin Categories: Ray Lesser Editorialstagged: conversation, listening, Psychology, talkingLeave a Comment
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