Another Thing I'd Say To Becky By David Erlewine
Fine, I'll admit it. I was staring at your cleft palate the one time we kissed. When you called me on it, I shouldn't have said you were ruining the moment. I let you leave, later sort of convincing myself that I tried to yell "come back" but blocked on the "c" sound.
The thing is, I wasn't staring at your cleft palate because I was afraid of accidentally kissing it. I was just thinking what being marked like that would feel like, thinking back to freshman year, when some asholes held me down and wrote "STUTTERER" on my face.
The mark made you like a lot of stutterers, the ones who couldn't speak without their bodies shaking. They never had the option of hiding. They never learned that instead of saying "laugh" on a bad "l" day they could giggle, chortle, howl, roar, snicker, or chuckle.
Wherever you are, I hope you are well. I trust it's not appropriate to say that I hope that if you have any kids, they don't have cleft palates. Many stutterers like me don't want kids because they fear passing down their fucked up genes. I hope that it's not the same kind of thing with cleft palates. But, I'm sure if it is hereditary, your child is otherwise very healthy and happy. I hope this last part comes across as it's intended. Sometimes, without intonation, things sound so much worse.