I'm good at imitating. With friends, especially.* So good, in fact, I don't even realize I'm slowly and surely becoming all of them. And that's kind of a bad thing, but only to other people.
1. I notice myself cock my head and wrinkle my eyebrows when I suspect foul play, in an explicitly rooster-like fashion. Gyna, that's your fault. Okay, pretend I'm Gob. Caw-cacaw.
2. Lying is getting much harder for me. Xtine says, "um" and "uh" whenever she lies (I figured you out Roomie, don't even pretend it's wrong). If she speaks the truth, she pauses and breathes when she loses her words, and eloquently speaks again when she finds them. But during the lies, or even small fibs, it's all nonsense filler noise. Ever since I've been aware of this, I've started doing it. I don't even realize it until I've done it, and then I have to fess up and be all, "Shit. I lied." I used to have a large problem with lying to people for no reason.
3. Around Muffy I talk loud. Booming loud. It makes sense, she's a loud talker who's unconcerned about stupid things like eardrums. Or, I mean, maybe it's because I'm usually hammered around Muffy. Whatever.
4. For some reason, me and Schmee have entire conversations in tardspeak. We're in our mid-late twenties, and we act like we're four. We have ten minute conversations like this:
"What you drinky?"
"Me drink wadka."
"Have, please? Sippy sippy?"
"No, eez mine."
"Eez for sharing."
"Eez for me-ing."
"You're a whore."
In the past, I only spoke like this around her. But it's slipping into other conversations where people don't play along, and they just think I'm an illegal alien from some florescent-skinned nation (I am so white I glow under black lights) or that I didn't get enough oxygen in the womb.
5. The real reason this is a problem is because yesterday I talked on the phone with my friend Dave, who incidentally has rather distinct speech patterns. He also has severe developmental issues, which makes comprehension difficult if you don't know Dave (and believe me, if Dave knows you, you know Dave. And he'll remind you, repeatedly, "You know me."). I've known him for years, so I don't ever really have complications.
So I talked to him on the phone during my lunch hour yesterday, which was nice because I haven't in awhile. We did lots of laughing, as always, and once we hung up the phone, I had Dave on the brain. I started talking to a co-worker and immediately laughed like him, in his broad, donkey kind of laugh, and then realized what I was doing and started laughing harder... it just escalated. Co-worker looks shocked and makes wide-eyes at me, and I explained Dave.
She was all sorts of cross. Very offended that I was making fun of him, like I was doing something wrong. So I tried to explain that I imitate all of my friends, I just pick up certain ticks and speech patterns naturally when I'm around them. She did not like that. Be more understanding, it gives other people the right, don't just go around making fun of the disabled.
Developmentally delayed, I tell her.
I'll laugh how I want. Friends are friends, and I imitate them. Deal.
Oh, and PS: I'm seriously considering becoming an adult film reviewer, just so I can say that I worked in the porn industry. Thank you, M.E. and Craigslist. I'm only sticking with it if I get paid. Apparently, bonuses up to $150 are available. Which means, you know, free porn. Which I will then sell on Ebay to make millions. Or to make $150.
* I also overuse the word "especially."