Clara Barkley, 28, is currently engaged in a sentence with no blessed idea as to where it’s going. Witnesses say Barkley, who is speculated to have been “wronged,” “snubbed,” or “silenced,” has been stumbling through an indignant sentence fragment since Tuesday afternoon, unsure of exactly which point she is currently making.
Beginning with a stern “How…DARE… You…” Barkley has been witnessed to have said, “The DISRESPECT — I couldn’t even if I wanted to –”, and “so thoroughly unacceptable, I can’t — even believe — what you could even…” and is still incredulously pushing words together, seemingly to cobble together a simultaneous communication of outrage, defense, accusation, reckoning, and resolution.
“Yeah, she’s sure mad about something,” says Barbara Willis, Barkley’s next door neighbor and witness to the meandering fountain of rage. “Maybe the plumber was overcharging her to fix her kitchen sink? I thought she was really gonna let someone have it, but she just kept on going and going.”
“I still can’t tell which thing is the thing she’s really mad about the most,” Willis continued, over a six-minute loop of Barkley saying, “WELL, THEN” in various frequencies and tones.
Barkley, who is a merchandise manager at a local clothing boutique, is gaining fame in the neighborhood as a majestic geyser of word-garbage. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Andrew Levy, 55. “Something must’ve set her off, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it was or what she’s trying to say about it. Was it a boyfriend?”
The entire neighborhood is attempting to discern exactly where the sentence could possibly be going. Neighbors are gathering together to assemble sections of the tirade in an attempt to decipher what exactly is the target of her ire in this particular sentence.
Professor Joyce Wingfield, chair of the Department of Media and Communications at SUNY-Purchase, says trying to decipher it is a fool’s errand. “This is what I call a ‘rage vortex,’ and it’s common among furious middle-class women who feel the need to scrabble together some dignity when confronted by some unbelievable bullshit, but don’t feel free enough to express themselves by clawing someone’s eyes out.”
“But I’ve never heard of anyone going on for this long,” she added. “Is she attending any weddings? Was there a fight at a bachelorette party?”
This is not Barkley’s first time spewing sentence fragments with the fervor of a dying star, completely bereft as to its conclusion. She is known in her circle of friends for the “Excuse me, SIR” incident of 2008, and the record six-hour “Is this what we’re doing now, Brendan?” tirade of 2011.
“Her mom is really worried about her, but I’m not,” says her father. “This sentence has got to land somewhere. Anywhere, really. She just has to pick a goddamn point.”