October 29, 2008

Singing for My Survival

I had a hard day yesterday, one that made me not want to come into work today. But unfortunately I had to, today at least, so to get me through the afternoon, I popped in some volumes of A.M. Gold and sang along to songs like "Crystal Blue Persuasion," "Never My Love" and "Like to Get to Know You" which I remember listening to on WEZG in Syracuse before falling asleep as a little kid.

I couldn't listen to anything happy, but regardless, I wanted to sing. It was therapeutic. But as I thought about how sad I felt, and how the singing made me feel better, I remembered a time as a child when things got really bad with my parents, and they caught me singing along to the radio. They became accusatory, telling me, "Obviously you don't feel bad and don't feel sorry, because if you did, you wouldn't be singing. Only happy people sing. Clearly you're not as depressed as you say you are."

Of course, they must've never listened to The Cure or even Dusty Springfield to make a statement like that.

I've lost my voice quite a bit over the last few months. Not physically per se, but one could say I've lost the will to sing, the will to try to make things feel better. I've just accepted them for what they are. Which has been terrible. And I assumed no one wanted to listen to my singing, or would hear me if I did. So I stopped. Even when I sang two songs at James' birthday karaoke party, I didn't use my own voice, instead putting on a fake karaoke voice which is as much talking in tune as anything else.

But today, I kept my frosted glass office door open, cranked the computer speakers, and sang, hoping someone would hear me finally.

I'm sure the coworkers who sit outside of my office did, but nobody said anything. At least no one asked me to stop.

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