I want to live my life like her fabulous lisp. Turn “mistakes” into nuances. Sounds so freaking corny, but that’s truly what this journey’s about, isn’t it? Finding greatness in our faults.
Other singers like Adele might have triple her range. They’ll win every singing award, but this chic who doesn’t even have a name is the one I hope will be on the radio. When I get in the car to drive Sam to school, her every inflection says that I’m “stumbling” perfect in my everyday ugly flip-flops. Not the ones with jewels or flowers that I put on for work or to meet Leslee for coffee—those are beautiful in themselves. I’m perfection in the comfy ones that are discolored above the right pinky toe. My hair is still damp, my capris have a tiny tear behind my left knee, but I feel lovely when I hear her perfect, imperfect voice. And I will take my son wherever he needs to go–in our messy Honda with the crack across the dirty windshield.
So I guess that singer reminds me, the writer, to take my new mystery wherever it needs to go. There’s a greater, more celebrated author out there, loads of them. There’s certainly a slew of writers with better grammar, just ask my editor. But I can’t help but wonder if there’s a reader somewhere who needs to hear this story. My imperfect voice might make an impression on her.
She won’t remember my name, but she’ll be captivated by a story about imperfect people, living lives full of “lisps”—but to her it will make strange sense. Inspired, she’ll climb into her messy car–the one with a dent across the front passenger door–and she’ll drive to New York or the local mall to try out for Broadway or a job at Radio Shack. She’ll smile when she stutters or lisps during the interview. Her confidence will stand out.
Lucie Smoker blogs at Reverse Perspective.