Because around Festivus-time we need a reminder where we all began.

ERIK KAISSON

All my life there’s been this running monologue inside my head.  It began when, as a kid, I would rehearse future conversations I was worried about, or revisit conversations I’d already ballsed up.  Right from the start it was always about the words.  I didn’t know the right ones; I didn’t know enough of them, or how to put them together.  I wanted to be like everyone else and not stand out as the lanky mute from overseas.  But how could I accomplish that when I hadn’t spoken a word of English until the age of five?

As the eldest child in a non-English speaking family, I had nobody to practice on except myself.  My mother-tongue was (I decided) good for profanity but little else.  For example, on the rare occasion I scored less than full marks for our daily spelling test, you’d hear an explosive ‘mitä vittua!‘…

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