Wordaholic group leader: Welcome all. We have a new member here tonight. I’d like to let her introduce herself.
(Intense staring. Sound of my metal chair scrapping as pushed backwards, spotlight swaying overhead.)
Me: Hi… my name is Tab, Tabitha really, but you can call me Tab. I am only ever called Tabitha if I am in trouble and then other words are used like...
Wordaholic group leader: Yes, okay. Observe first rule of group, Tabitha. (Points to long list of rules print on massive poster.) Answer with only necessary amount of words.
Me: Oh…well… I have been obsessed with words since… um, ever I can remember.
Group: (all in chorus) Hi Tab.
Wordaholic group leader: That’s a long obsession. Can you describe for us how it began?
Me: I blame my mother. She read to me from a baby.
Me: Yes, and she wasn’t the only one. My father read to me as well.
Wordaholic group leader: And when did you first notice that this was becoming an obsession?
Me: Well, I didn’t think of it like that at first. I mean, what’s the harm in a few little picture books? But before I knew it I went from being a social reader to sneaking my flashlight to bed so I could read under the covers. I found myself reading at all hours of the day and night. I just couldn’t control the urge.
Group: (Outbreak of mumbles and whispering behind hands.)
Wordaholic group leader: Now, now. That's why we are all here; to support each other. So, Tab, what would you say the fascination with words looks like in your life now?
Me: Um…well I have to confess… I now read to my own children.
Wordaholic group leader: Have you tried doing something else when the urge to engage with words hits you? Like painting maybe, they say a picture is worth ten thousand words. Or sleeping? Can’t read when you’re asleep.
Me: I tried sleeping, but I end up reading by lamp light till three in the morning. It gets worse. I write too. I have notebooks in every nook in the house and car, I can use a pen until it actual runs out of ink and I am in the process of editing my first manuscript.
Wordaholic group leader: (packing up chairs and ushering other group members out of the room) Um... I don’t think we can help you. (Slams door)
Me: (Cross yet another group off list. Resign self to life long love of reading. Decide to feed obsession for words ever chance I get.)
Care to join me? If one picture is worth ten thousand words, what might the worth of ten thousand words be? Any thoughts on your own literary obsessions?