I really have gotten trashy.
When I first returned to lobstering for a living, 9 years ago now, I stuck out like a black guy at a Merle Haggard concert. I knew the job from prior experience, but I never talked the talk. I spent so much effort in the years prior to speak like a scientist; although it didn't come natural to me, I had (I think) a good lecture voice- I could give a talk and stand in front of a critical crowd of Ph.D's and hold my own, but when I returned to fishing, I just talked like a fag.
After I had been fishing a little while with Chuck Z and The Notorious B.O.B, I learned how to talk the talk, after a fashion. In time, I stopped thinking about it, and, although I don't think I was ever 'one of the guys' in a scene where the average age was about 50, I got comfortable... didn't have to force it, I guess you'd say.
Sometimes, though, when I returned to the academic circle, I'd find myself parodying myself- I got more crude than I normally was, spoke a poorer brand of English (I still prefer to say "was" where 'were' is correct, i.e., "you always was a bit of a assbag"). I was forcing it, maybe in a defensive reflex to avoid being questioned on why I walked away from a perfectly nice career.
Anyways, now I have to reign myself in. I was inspired to write this blip just a few moments ago when I was handing off the watch to my mate, who is still a little green- "Remember to keep at least 10 feet of cargo in your last tank; God forbid, you sneeze or something, and shit yourself; even if you lose prime in the pumps while you're changing out your drawers, you'll have the head pressure from the last tank to flood the pumpwell."
After my mate grinned, nodded, and headed out on deck, I had the thought that I need to balance out my manner of speaking, even the way I write. There's no need to force other people believe that I'm pointlessly crass and crude. Being a savage may not be an act anymore, but I probably shouldn't force people to assume that I'm uneducated just to prove that I can change their opinion given time.
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