Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Luckily, my fingers aren't broken.


Because an unspeakable tragedy just befell me.

I lost my voice.

Folks, I am a consummate talker (and apparently, pun-weaver). And I have never, ever lost my voice, or even misplaced it. I've had strep throat, bronchitis, and all kinds of allergy dilemmas - and while my throat has hurt, or scratched, or felt like a million tiny razors were lodged in it - I have never lost my voice.

Until today.

And it happened in the space of about 30 minutes. I was sitting at work, minding my own business, listening to the thunder outside, watching the wind whip the rain, and soaking in Gregorian chants I was streaming from Pandora radio. Earlier, I spoke. I laughed.

(I laughed really hard at this.)

And then my editor walked in, and started telling me a story about the time all his favorite CDs were stolen, and I tried to respond. And my mouth opened, and air came out, and I started to form words - but no sound. I opened my mouth again, rather guppy-like, and nothing. It was like being Ariel in "The Little Mermaid," or Carlotta in "Phantom of the Opera," or Zechariah in the Gospel of Luke, chapter one.

I was wild-eyed with bewilderment. My throat didn't hurt today, I didn't feel sick, just typical seasonal allergies a bit. Nothing out of the ordinary, and no gradual disappearance of vocal tonality.

Nope. Hear one minute, gone the next.

Since I was listening to Gregorian chants and a thunderstorm, I kind of wondered if a mischievous old monk-ghost came up behind me and stole my voice when I wasn't looking, just to be mean because he'd taken a vow of silence years ago, and he knew that silence isn't my strong point.

HA, Gregorian monk-ghost: I can still type. I still have my deft, rapid fingers.

For now.

But if I'm going to be voiceless, it may as well be in preparation for Lent. HA again, Gregorian monk-ghost: I don't mind your poltergeist pranks.

I'm reduced to not talking, or if I can take a little pain, whispering, or just thinking and typing. I know, I know, it feels like one step removed from the man who could only communicate with his left eye in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Don't worry. I don't have to blink my letters into publication.

For now.

Don't get any ideas, Gregorian monk-ghost.


Carrie said...

Ha! Sorry, I shouldn't laugh, but it kind of is funny. Being haunted by a Gregorian monk-ghost, that is.

vanilla said...

I'm sure that, for you, being unable to talk is not funny; but bless you, the monk did not harm your sense of humor!

Bob said...

going to the doctor?---dad

Bob said...

oh...and last week, I watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I was sad that he died. I thought for sure the movie would have a happy ending.

Bob said...

...and I used to watch Ballykissangel. I liked it. I remember a couple where the owners of the bar were selling it...and another involving something funny going on at a golf course, but I don't remember what it was. It was a long time ago.--dad