Hearing Voices

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Burn.

What is that strange sound? That voice I hear at home and in my car and sometimes at work?

Flying By Night novelThe girls are off to spend a week with the father, and I’m sitting at the computer, singing at the top of my lungs. No, it’s not a time of celebration, but at least I’m not keeping them awake.

I have big plans for the Fourth of July weekend. No, not fireworks with a lover, though I’m certainly not opposed if the Gods want to drop some incredibly sexy man into my lap this weekend. Um, no pun intended.

I’m  celebrating  my  first  Independence  Day  deep  in deadline  hell, hitting a first draft of my Silhouette Bombshell manuscript even when I don’t know what changes to the plot- line I’ll find with my next conversation with my editor and even though the book is due in precisely two months and I still don’t have an approved synopsis from my  overworked editor. But I have a long weekend alone to devote to passion. Literary passion, that is. Again, no pun intended.

I’ll turn up my iTunes and play a special mix that re- minds me of my kickass heroine, Aubrey, and while I write, I’ll find myself lost in her imaginary soundtrack: INXS’ “Need You Tonight,”  Psychedelic  Furs’  “Love  My  Way,”  New  Order’s “True Faith,” Jim Steinman’s “Bad for Good,” U2’s “Running To Stand Still,” Manson’s cover of “Tainted Love,”  and Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and “Closer to God.” And without realizing it, I’ll find myself singing along. Yes, the girls will be out of the house for my rendition of anything NIN.

To give my back an ergonomic break from the key- board, I’ll get up every now and then, and I’ll do a little laundry or make dinner for myself, all the while singing along with what- ever iTunes serves up randomly, be it Goth, rock, or even some- thing spun by one of my former Circle-mates. I’ll turn it off or down only to take a phone call from friends  who call on the weekends.

Sometime during the weekend, I’ll probably run to the grocery store or get the oil changed in the car, and on the way, I’ll play my tunes in the car and I’ll sing like a maniac, not caring who sees me mouthing the words or turning my steering wheel into a djembe with my palms in quick rhythm. Singing all the time is an old habit I’d almost forgotten, but it’s come back with a vengeance now that I no longer care what any man in my life thinks of my voice, least of all one I’m married to. It won’t be silenced again.

You see, something’s happened to my voice. Besides the fact that I lost it for a couple of months with a trachea infection and it’s not 100%  back yet. Physically, it’s not as strong as it should be, but it doesn’t matter. Whether I’m singing old Concrete Blonde or brand new Jenifer McLaren, my voice is different. It doesn’t matter if I’m singing the melody or alto harmony, it sounds different.

I…I like it.

Maybe I liked my voice 20 years ago, too, before I married,  before my husband-to-be made unkind remarks that persuaded me to keep my song buried in my chest. I don’t remember. I don’t remember  especially liking my voice, but I do re- member loving to sing.

And now, even though I don’t recognize my voice, it sounds better, prettier, more alive, more intense, more in touch, than I can remember. I’m not sure what that means.

Except that after all these years, I seem to have found my  voice  again and I like the freedom of getting lost in my songs. That strange voice I’m hearing these days is my own.

I’ve just now started to listen to it.