Last month I sprained one of my toes. I’ve never given a thought about that toe; it did its duty quietly and faithfully for over 60 years until its owner thanked it by nailing it on an open pantry door. For the past month I’ve been reminded of that toe every time I try to wear certain shoes or bend my foot a certain way. Now I have a new appreciation for that toe (and pray to it every day to heal the hell up; I miss those shoes.)
For the last week I’ve had a cold and my first ever case of total laryngitis. I went to bed one night with my voice in tact and woke up the next morning without it. Just like that. Like my toe, I took advantage of my voice, never full appreciating how useful it could be until it decided to flunk out. It’s amazing, in this day of technology, how much you still need your voice. Today was a discovery.
This morning I went on-line to cancel a service but I found out that I had to phone the merchant directly–which I can’t do, of course, because the only thing the merchant would hear is a breathy, raspy sound and I would sound like a pervert making an obscene phone call. (I’ve had those and they’re not fun.)
This afternoon I went grocery shopping and thought I was in the clear because the store has self-checkout. Unfortunately the deli does not. The moment the deli lady said “can I help you?” I realized my mistake. I whispered “I have laryngitits” and “Can I have a bit of that salad please?”, looking sheepish. The lady was sweet and accomodating, even giving me a home remedy for my missing voice (Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water.) I mouthed a thank you and went on my way.
After that I went to the pet store to get some pill pockets. (Pill pockets are treats you can stuff pills in to give your dog. I’ve been faking Buddy out with this method for 5 years.) I figured I’d grab a pack, pay for it wordlessly, and leave. But no. I couldn’t find the damn pockets and needed to ask the sales girl, explaining (again) my weird voice. The sales girl listened sympathetically and walked me over the the pill pockets. Walked. Me. Over. To. Them. My lack of voice has apparently rendered me an invalid who can’t follow simple directions. I thanked her and left with my purchase, surprisingly able to locate my car. (I think the salesgirl was impressed.)
There were other incidences of missing my voice today too, like how I wanted to tell my neighbour something but couldn’t email him because he doesn’t have the internet, but also couldn’t phone him for obvious reasons, although I’m sure he would find my pervert/obscene phone call impersonation amusing.
But the worse incident of all regarding my absentee voice was not being able to yell at a bunch of kids who were screaming and hollering outside. Had I had my voice, I would have barrelled out there full throttle and sent them packing. As it was, I could hardly have been a commanding presence with a ghostly whisper that I’m sure they wouldn’t have heard. This, I discovered, was the worse part of voicelessness: I need my voice so I can give annoying people shit.
I knew I was put on earth for a reason.