Since Leftwing Idiot and I became friends twelve years ago, he’s been fascinated by what happens when he asks, ‘What noise do [insert animal name] make?’ My tics always dutifully respond with the appropriate noise. Before we knew I had Tourettes he found this strange, but I found it just as strange that he didn’t respond automatically in the same way.
Tonight, he and our friend Bunny were casually listing animals as they helped me through the last moments of my fit. We’d done dogs, cats, and cows and then Bunny said, ‘What noise do dolphins make?’ Leftwing Idiot immediately said, ‘No, not that noise!’ But it was too late – my tics had already gone crazy making a frantic dolphin-like clicking as I flapped about on the floor like a fish out of water.
There was a lot of laughter while they helped me calm down and get things back under control. Leftwing Idiot explained to Bunny that the dolphin noise was an old tic from a long time ago that used to be as frequent as ‘Biscuit’ is now. He seemed to know it would set me off in the way it did.
This sudden reminder of tics-gone-by sent me on a random journey back through some of the earliest words and sounds I ever made. It’s strange to know they’re all stored away somewhere in my brain, ready to pop out when the time is right.