Sometimebetween 12pm and 3am on Thursday morning something or someone stole my voice. Enforcedsilence does not suit me. Unlike my colleague who disappears by choice to asilent retreat for a month each year, being mute leaves me in a state of amputation.
A horrible truthhas settled over me with this gag. Very little of the words I spew fortheveryday are of any consequence. In fact when reduced to hand gestures andpost-it notes, I have found that I have hardly anything to say at all. For awriter, it is a bit shocking.
As for signlanguage, it only works when both parties know what the signals mean. You mayend up dead, like that poor chap in a bar in the USA who tried to order a whiskeyusing American Sign Language and was shot by a cop who thought he was makinggang signs. There are some universal signs that transcend hearing or speakingdisabilities, of which I have made great use of. These are vital when somesmart ass tries to take the piss out of you and you can’t say anything inreturn.
Most of thetime I resort to waving my hands wildly in the air as if I were playing some dementedgame of charades. I have never been good at charades. My children think it ishilarious and my husband enjoys it far too much for my liking.
People keeptelephoning me to ask how I am or to ask me to do something or answer a survey.While very grateful that they care, I end up whispering into the phone whilethey speak louder and louder saying, “Hello! Hello! Hello!” There’s nothingwrong with my hearing and it doesn’t matter how loud you speak, I can’t returnthe favour.
One thingthat has been highlighted to me is that most people, me included, don’t listenvery often. It seems we chirp on regardless of what the other party says or doesn’tsay according to our own assumptions of how they should respond. It’s almost asthough they exist merely to give credence to our own outpouring of meaningless verbosity.
The lessonis that I think we should be more careful with our words. We use themcarelessly, sometimes with malice aforethought and little consideration givento their consequence. In the past two days I have realised that if we just allshut up, we’d get more done, politicians would be out of business and we’d allbe happier people.
I vaguelywonder what I said on Wednesday that was so horrible the spirits saw fit totake a toilet brush to my throat.
Even forkarma, I think it is a bit rough.
PS: Can anyoneexplain why when I Google Image Search for “toilet brush down throat”, I get apicture of Tom Cruise?