i lost the language

Groups of friends tend to develop similar patterns of speech. It's more than just words and phrases and inside jokes, though those all happen. It's tone and inflection and pacing. It's everything they say.

I got a crank call once from a friend of my ex-girlfriend. I didn't know him, but something about his pacing and I knew right away that she'd know about the call if I asked her about it later. She did. I felt like I'd won something. Of course, when I was around her I'd talk like that, too. I still talk like her sometimes, especially when she's in town. It happens instantly. I don't even think about it.

I'd say I don't even know I'm doing it but that's not true, is it? When I think about it I know, and I could tell it anywhere.

Or I used to be able to. These days I've tried thinking about it--did I get this verbal tic from her? Was that one of her words?--but it's coming up blank. I don't remember anymore. And it's been a long time since we talked and longer since we dated, but I worry.

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