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?
I have big plans for the Fourth of July weekend. No, not fireworks with a lover, though Iâ€™m certainly not opposed if the Gods want to drop some incredibly sexy man into my lap this weekend. Um, no pun intended.
Iâ€™mÂ celebrating Â my Â first Â Independence Â Day Â deep Â in deadline Â hell, hitting a first draft of my Silhouette Bombshell manuscript even when I donâ€™t know what changes to the plot- line Iâ€™ll find with my next conversation with my editor and even though the book is due in precisely two months and I still donâ€™t have an approved synopsis from my Â overworked editor. But I have a long weekend alone to devote to passion. Literary passion, that is. Again, no pun intended.
Iâ€™ll turn up my iTunes and play a special mix that re- minds me of my kickass heroine, Aubrey, and while I write, Iâ€™ll find myself lost in her imaginary soundtrack: INXSâ€™ â€œNeed You Tonight,â€ Â Psychedelic Â Fursâ€™ Â â€œLove Â My Â Way,â€ Â New Â Orderâ€™s â€œTrue Faith,â€ Jim Steinmanâ€™s â€œBad for Good,â€ U2â€™s â€œRunning To Stand Still,â€ Mansonâ€™s cover of â€œTainted Love,â€ Â and Nine Inch Nailsâ€™ â€œCloserâ€ and â€œCloser to God.â€ And without realizing it, Iâ€™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, Iâ€™ll get up every now and then, and Iâ€™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. Iâ€™ll turn it off or down only to take a phone call from friends Â who call on the weekends.
Sometime during the weekend, Iâ€™ll probably run to the grocery store or get the oil changed in the car, and on the way, Iâ€™ll play my tunes in the car and Iâ€™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 Iâ€™d almost forgotten, but itâ€™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 Iâ€™m married to. It wonâ€™t be silenced again.
You see, somethingâ€™s happened to my voice. Besides the fact that I lost it for a couple of months with a trachea infection and itâ€™s not 100% Â back yet. Physically, itâ€™s not as strong as it should be, but it doesnâ€™t matter. Whether Iâ€™m singing old Concrete Blonde or brand new Jenifer McLaren, my voice is different. It doesnâ€™t matter if Iâ€™m singing the melody or alto harmony, it sounds different.
Iâ€¦I like it.
Maybe I liked my voice 20 years ago, too, before I married, Â before my husband-to-be made unkind remarks that persuaded me to keep my song buried in my chest. I donâ€™t remember. I donâ€™t remember Â especially liking my voice, but I do re- member loving to sing.
And now, even though I donâ€™t recognize my voice, it sounds better, prettier, more alive, more intense, more in touch, than I can remember. Iâ€™m not sure what that means.
Except that after all these years, I seem to have found my Â voice Â again and I like the freedom of getting lost in my songs. That strange voice Iâ€™m hearing these days is my own.
Iâ€™ve just now started to listen to it.