Voice of the voiceless. From the heading it may seem like am setting out to write about the politically disenfranchised or the economically deprived or at least the socially awkward, well you would be right I have belonged to each one of those groups at least once in my life and this is about me so…
And why am I one of the voiceless, the simple answer is that I lost my voice-its also the only answer. It’s gone and no searches have been able to find anything (I always knew Google wasn’t perfect.) how I lost it is not important to this narrative- ok it maybe but I have found that no one believes anything I say about how I lost my voice so I gave up.
For an hour I was stuck with that earthy, sexy growl that happens just before your voice decides to take off. As sharp as a tack it occurs to me to call every girl on my phone book but charge is to the phone as my voice is to me. In no time at all talking at an audible pitch is an exercise in masochism so is trying to sing along to we were four so I give up and begin whispering everything I say. That night am leaving for a party. If you ever lose your voice go for a party. Trust me it makes all the pain worth it. First thought as we’re entering a Matatu to take us to the place (this is around 9 pm) I see this guy with a pot walking around selling some liquid to every driver in sight. I have never seen this before and am understandably curious and excited about this new form of social entrepreneurship so I make a substantial contribution to his business, I buy a cup. A cup costs 10/= the substantial contribution is that am writing about it, or not. That coffee(that’s what it was I think) tasted like shit and left all sorts of stains on the cup its like instead of using coffee beans the dirt that the coffee was grown in was used to strain. It would explain the flavour .
Anyway we get to the party and I make my round of introductions to everyone. And I calmly tell them I lost my voice. This loss of voice is going to be harder on me than anyone else I think. This is since I usually talk, not a lot, let’s just say I am the master of the art of conversation and it’s not my fault when some of the slaves dislike what I have to say. The thing is now I have to steer clear of both music and large groups of people if talking is going to be part of my evening. It actually turns out quite interesting. I get involved in this conversation about a monster of a car that this one guy sometimes drives. Me and another pal are quick to point out how much that car does for you in the ladies’ department (it was also at this party that I had someone use the term Ocampo list to refer to a Mercedes 600 because there are 6 people on the list.) well the guy gets modest and says that the monster is not registered in his name. I get this incredulous look in my face as I think of all the times that women whose opinion of you would be influenced by what kind of car you drive would also demand documentation of proof of ownership. Imagine taking a girl home and the first thing she asks for is the title deed!
This other guy decides to make fun of me about my voice. This by the way is a running theme for everyone at the party. I take note of the fact that my lost voice and what became of it are going to account for at least 60% of my conversations Usually if you whisper to someone they’ll whisper back but it was ridiculous how many people did it and I could tell that they wee making fun of me. This hurt my feelings though not as much as it would have hurt my throat to audibly explain this sentiment to them. Any way this guy decides to make fun of me.
Guy making fun of me: I lost my voice on Monday morning and by afternoon I had got it back, that’s how soldiers do.
Me: well I wasn’t going to go crying after my voice like you did, pleading with it to take me back and making all sorts of promises to treat it better, to stop smoking and drinking. If my voice doesn’t miss me enough I don’t want it back. Am not that desperate!
Another thing that is guaranteed to happen if you lose your voice, nobody is going to believe you actually lost it and every 30 minutes you’ll be asked again, why are you whispering? After getting tired of telling the truth to all these people I started fibbing. I was with a group of people away from the music and am asked why are you whispering? I make up this baloney about being asked to keep it quiet and everyone there, everyone starts whispering.
But there’s this one girl who won’t believe that my voice just got lost so I think of the most outrageous thing I could tell her. So I say that I have a proclivity to prostitutes and had recently acquired the services of a real professional one who showed me things I had never seen before and I screamed so loud and so consistently that my voice got jealous and left. The amazing thing is that she believes it. When we get back to the party she asks my permission to tell that story to a group of guys and goes on to say it putting full faith in it. The weird thing is one of these guys misunderstands and thinks that when this girl first met me I asked her to guess how I lost my voice and she came up with that whole story this provides us some laughing at her expense as he says;
“ok wait, you met this guy and he lost his voice and the first thing you think isn’t that he had a sore throat but that he went to a prostitute who made him scream so much that he lost his voice, seriously? Seriously that’s what comes to your mind? Seriously?”
And just so you too can have been the catalyst behind a scene like that, if you lose your voice go to a party. Go!