Let's dispense with inconsequential business. I'm sick. The kind of sick that sounds (or doesn't sound) a lot worse than it really is: laryngitis. And it is accompanied by a hacking cough. My voice all but disappeared two days ago, making my already fervent internal dialogue border on manic.I have just been walking around without my voice and suddenly I have a million things to say.
I have learned a bit about communication the last few days: you can absolutely set the tone of every single interaction you have with people by using the timbre and tone of your voice, and manipulating your body language. People will respond to you in an almost subconscious, mirroring way. For example, every interaction I had with a stranger where I had to use my voice, I started out with an apologetic whisper, shrinking into myself while also leaning forward to appear as un-weird and defenseless as possible, "I'm sorry I'm whispering but I have laryngitis." And every single person responded with sympathy and their own whispering. That cracked me up every time. "Oh, I'm sorry. How can I help you?"was the general, hushed response. It made me smile that by and large, people are willing to help someone who is even slightly at a disadvantage. Also, I suppose this is because I was apologetic in my mannerisms too, and close talking so people could hear me, everyone was super nice. Perhaps there is something to this. Probably not.
I've had to be out sick from work for two days and I go back tomorrow. My voice is still not better but, being the newbie, I have no sick days. Library patrons will just have to be as understanding as the sales clerks I encountered the past few days or I'll whisper so hard at them, they'll think they were in a library.
And now for the profound. I received word over the weekend that a friend from high school died. She was my age, married to a sweet man and leaves behind two small children. I will say that she was part of my social circle, though we were not close friends. I saw her most recently about three or four months ago at the first communion party of a mutual friend. She seemed herself and was getting in shape and doting on her children, planning for their (and her) future. But you make a plan and apparently god not only laughs, but he shits all over it. She suffered a stroke a few weeks ago and was on her way to recovery but took a turn for the worse and passed away at the hospital.
I went with my voicelessness to the wake last night, which is just as well. There is nothing to say. Like so many people we all know, our lives ran parallel in high school and the few years that followed. She became a wife and mother and we got together every now and then but she seemed like one of those people who lucked out in love and family and I liked to know that she was there, doing the things that families do together, the kind of goodness that, once lost, just leaves in its wake this vague feeling of dread.
I don't want to be cynical; her good humor and optimism would not have appreciated that. From the sheer amount of people that attended her wake last night (and likely again tonight) it was clear that she was loved and will be missed. Can any of us expect anything more than that?
So that encapsulates what has been happening the past few days I've been MIA from BEDO. I lost another person from my life (2015 has been a banner year in that department) and I'd love if we could make it to December with a long beat of nothing sad or terrible happening. I'd love to pink cloud my way through the next few weeks and deal with autumn as a time when nothing is dying but rather preparing for rest and renewal. Renewal is the word I'd love to see etched, graffitied, stitched and tattooed on every surface I can see and in the eyes of every person.
Here's one of my favorite songs of all time which for some odd reason has popped into my head so many times over the last few days. And now it can get stuck in your head too. I wish we could sit around and listen to it together.