Sunday, December 24, 2006

I have lost my voice (and part of my soul)

"I can't talk - I lost my voice. I put a book on reserve for Kathleen Poe - Cornbread Nation 3 - so I just need to pick that up."

I placed the note, handwritten and torn from a yellow legal pad, on the glass surface of the checkout counter, along with my 30% off internet coupon and my Borders Rewards card. The cashier looked at me, looked down at my note, read it, laughed, smiled and said "Thanks" before wandering back to the reserve shelves to find my book.

When he returned, he laughed again and pointed to the last line, chuckling at my inclusion of such a clearly understood (and thus extraneous) fact. "How'd you lose your voice?" he asked, concurrently realizing that I couldn't really respond. I smiled back, lifted my shoulders in a shrug and made the talky-talky gesture with my left hand, rolling my eyes.

He scanned in my coupon and announced my total of $13.76. As I handed him my Visa card, he thanked me again, presumably for providing some comic relief in the middle of what promises to be a long-haul of a day...

I couldn't help but laugh out loud - or, as loud as is vocally possible, at this point - as I left the store. I'm not sure how or why my voice decided now was a good time to take a vacation, but it couldn't have picked a worse time. Any effort to rehabilitate my ailing vocal cords in previous days has been utterly thwarted by holiday parties and friends - first, the DuPriest's annual gathering of Westminster faculty, family and friends; then Thursday's class of 2001 5-year high school reunion; and finally, the annual Poe Christmas bash, for which I am a hostess (with the mostess, I might add). All of these events have led me to talk far more than any sane or smart person would on a throat that really didn't want to be involved in that at all. In fact, Friday night I sounded nothing like myself - many of my friends told me they couldn't take me seriously when they heard me - but instead like a chainsmoking, booze-soaked sorority girl (Winston's ubiquitous "Sorostitute") yelling into her cellphone on a street corner. (In fact, we got a good few laughs out of that one - pretty much anything I said became comedic gold.)

So now it's Sunday, Christmas Eve, and I have no voice. I whispered my way through yesterday morning (yes, I know whispering is worse than trying to speak, but I had a guest to entertain!) and have since resorted to note-writing and head-nodding. Depending on the hour and my mood, I may or may not start crying out of frustration at the fact that I can't speak. I'm sort of dreading church tonight - I was supposed to sing at the church where I worked last year and later attend a service at the church in which I grew up, but I'll probably just go with my family to Peachtree at this point (we fear change!) - because I have been so looking forward to Christmas hymns, which are my favorite. And I can't sing them! Boo hoo :(

It's only been a couple days, and I've been somewhat surprised (though, in thinking about it, not really) about how frustrating and genuinely upsetting it is to not be able to speak or sing. So I've shut up, for once, in the interest of recovering my ability to do these things I so love to do as soon as possible. I can at least take comfort in the fact that I made the dude at Borders smile and laugh amid the last-minute holiday rush...

So Merry Christmas, y'all! Sing out extra loud on O Little Town of Bethlehem, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (descant, too!), It Came upon the Midnight Clear and Joy to the World for me...

1 comment:

abby j said...

your voice will be back!

your soul... tbd.