Losing a voice is an art form

imagesWhat an odd title. I’m usually pretty straightforward with my posts, as you already know. I have a perfect explanation for my odd behavior. I’m drinking gallons of tea and munching on cough drops (or throat lozenges, as Wikipedia informs me). I’m sure being ill makes anything odd I might say or write ok. The excessive amount of liquids and those nice pastilles numbing my throat certainly must have an effect on me. Ha! 😀

Yes, the various germs floating around lecture halls finally caught up with me and I have a pretty serious case of laryngitis, or as my sister told me, the voice of Darth Vader. My first croak in the morning certainly fit the description – all those crackling bass notes made me sound like a 100-year-old chain-smoker. Hell, I was surprised myself! My sister actually paused with her dressing to turn around and take a good look at me. “Shit, I thought someone else was in the room,” she told me after a lengthy pause. I shut up right about then; firstly, because it hurt to talk, secondly, because it was freaking embarrassing and I wanted to test the limits of my voice in privacy. I’ve never heard my voice do that; break and crackle and rumble like a broken engine.

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I went to class anyway. It was pouring and my voice pretty much deserted me by then despite the first cup of hot tea and the following pastilles, but I thought, “What the hell, I’m going to shock everyone and have fun with my wonky voice.” Nothing could bring me down – the day was ruined no matter what I did, so I turned things around and took control. My nose had stopped running during the night and my head did not hurt anymore, so that was a definite advantage over the previous day. 😀

I met the first classmate on the way to the university. She was taken aback at my voice as I greeted her, but just shook her head and offered her sympathy. She did ask me questions I could answer with as few words as possible, but the vocal practice helped my voice somewhat, so I did not mind in the least. The first class of the day got to laugh when I misjudged the stability of my ‘new voice’. I was asking a question, confirming my interpretation of something, really; then my voice failed fantastically in a series of higher-pitched crackles. It was bizarre but so funny. No one will be able to reproduce those sounds ever. So, epic win on the hilarious voice award. The only way to top it would be trying to sing but I believe that would cause some serious, maybe even permanent damage. Not that I tried – I’m not stupid. Louder speaking (or shouting!) was out of the question anyway.

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I spoke little in the next class because we had to listen to a series of shorter presentations by our classmates. Whew. I did have a coughing fit in the middle. It made me cry before I managed to subdue it and push in another cough suppressant pill. I hate coughing fits but I always manage to have one during class or exam. It’s some kind of cosmic law or something. You’d think I’d learn and always have water ready, but no. No water, just Sahara in my mouth and an itch that wouldn’t let me breathe. Somehow I managed to get it under control before I disrupted the class and it was smooth sailing from then on. My voice got steadily better.

I’ve got a feeling though that my throat will dry out during the night and I’ll be facing another voiceless day tomorrow. Well, at least the professor will know that I wasn’t kidding on Monday when I told him I was keeping my germs away when I sat two seats from a classmate. I’m not usually sitting all by myself but my nose wasn’t pretty then and I really did not wish to infect everyone else. My brother had the stomach flu just days before and I didn’t want to chance it spreading on so close to the finals. My classmates would kill me.

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