Mental reverberations

An argument for earplugs

Isn’t it interesting how a person’s voice can strike a chord in you? And isn’t it strange how you can recognize someone’s voice, even if that person is forever a background character in your life?

Note that I restrained myself from making a pun about “vocal chords” and “striking a chord” … The elements are there and I could piece them together if I really wanted to. BUT I DIDN’T AND YOURE WELCOME.

Now that I think about it, if I concentrate hard enough I can still recall the voices, intonations, speech patterns and unique cadences of many people from my past, even if we were never close. I suppose it’s a matter of repetition as much as it is significance.

Some voices are like music to your ears. They can send shivers up your spine with their calm, commanding confidence. They can make you melt with just a few syllables.

Some voices can soothe and comfort you simply because they are familiar or because they’ve always been associated with home. Some can frustrate you for the same reason. Even one word in some voices can instantly enrage you or calm you.

Some screech in your ears like nails on a chalkboard, making you grind your teeth because you know that what is being spoken is a crude and humorless joke, and you know the exact sound of the annoying laugh that follows it.

Some can cause you to reflexively roll your eyes and dry-heave at how the words trip off the tongue in choppy syllables, carefully crafted and saturated in a sickly sweet sugary syrup in an attempt to mask the rotten core.

What’s underneath the thick, brightly-colored sugarcoating is sour, empty and meaningless. It’s like candy that provides no nutritional value, just a sweet taste on the tongue and a momentary sugar high. The same candy that you once enjoyed as a child but now spit out upon tasting, because your palate has developed and you prefer something that actually has something more to offer you than the superficial and fleeting. If that voice was chocolate-covered chocolate, filled with chocolate and served with a side of chocolate, you’d rather have a heaping bowl of steamed, flavorless cauliflower with no salt — and you hate cauliflower. But at least cauliflower doesn’t pretend to be something else. What you see is what you get. And hey, it’s good for you.

Cauliflower personified

For once, I don’t really have an underlying message I’m trying to communicate here. These are simply some thoughts that occurred to me this morning … upon hearing a voice that repulses me, one of the few voices in this world that I have come to truly despise. I have to forcibly compose myself and control any cringing upon hearing this person speak.

I hope to avoid this voice at all costs. I wish I could erase it from my memory and free up the brain space for more worthwhile thoughts. And I wish there was reassurance that I would never have to cross paths with this person again, or hear one more slimy sentence leave their lips.

Maybe I should invest in some high quality ear plugs … Or maybe I could just walk around with my headphones in and my music loud. Or perhaps I should just grit my teeth, grin and bear it. I suppose that would be the “adult” and “professional” thing to do, rather than to tell this person to shut their hideous gaping mouth and never speak to me again.

C’est la vie.