Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can You Hear Me?

It booms, thunders across other sounds, wraps around the ears until nothing else can be heard. My voice. A simple conversation with me and you think I'm preaching in a coliseum. R waves his hand at me, a signal to lower my voice. I do, then I see my audience straining to hear me. There’s no middle ground for me, only too high or too low.

Once my voice was small, quiet, until I discovered play acting. I can still hear the directors’ voices: “Throw your voice, Vivian, so I can hear you,” as they waved from the last row of the college theatre. And so, to continue acting I began to raise the decibels.

Then came my career in teaching, and I realized that a loud voice worked better for me than a quiet one. That was in the early years when I taught in ancient school buildings that bounced the voice against the 12 foot tall windows and absorbed into the three foot thick walls.

Former students shopping in the same store as I have come up to me with the remark: “I KNEW that was you Mrs. N, we recognized your voice!” And I was only talking to a friend in another part of the store!! My voice has dropped pitch considerably from early days. You’d declare I was a radio announcer.

Cell phone conversation is tough. I have to find a closed spot to make and take my calls. If I go outside the house, neighbors can hear me six blocks away. Well, maybe three. Inside the house I have to find a distant room, close the door, and turn music to low.

When R makes a trip to Home Depot or a department store, especially in pleasant weather, I usually remain in the car and call everyone I need to contact. Inside the vehicle is like being swathed in bubble wrap where I can chat without a hand waving before my eyes.

In my family are three adult children. Two are loud and one is quiet like his dad. When we are together you’d wish you could spray a foam that would fill our mouths and harden. We know we are loud mouths, but in our excitement of sharing conversation, we get completely carried away with the moment. I feel so accepted when we are together.

I’m looking for someone to design a modular telephone booth, light enough to move around the house and yard. Better still, something in a can I spray around my head, creating a sound barrier. What is your idea for me?


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CabinWriter-- said...

If you speak loudly, perhaps there's no cure. If you are on the listening end, be patient with whom you must hear.