There are many different kinds of voices. Some you can hear, some you can’t, some that seem to boom into your cavernous head from all sides, some that seem to sprout from the centre, some that come and go as they wish, some that you bump headlong into like an innocuous but ubiquitous lamppost. Then, there are those voices that are not inside your head at all, but at the other end of the phone call you’re attending to right now.

These voices have bodies, I’m given to believe, something to which a head is affixed to, and through the head, words are spoken. For the record, I don’t like spoken words. One moment they’re there, the next moment they’re gone. I hate that kind of indecisiveness – unless of course they’re forced into a small box called a “voice recorder” or if they’re carved into stone by a manic engraver. The voice in my earpiece is now telling me about what a bad morning it had.

battle
Early morning... blues?

How do voices have bad mornings? Are they blown out into the world through a snot-smeared windpipe? Or do they bear messages as murky as the mind that conceived them? Actually, the voice in my ear seemed to be suffering both maladies: expletives four to fourteen letters long were clamoring for an audience with blatant disregard for the Doppler effect, and the immutable moss-green of the phlegm I could almost hear.

Whether voices can have bad mornings or not, I can. I was having one then and there. First call I get in the morning is from a “friend” complaining about how her HDD crashed and how I could be responsible for it. I was stupefied when I heard that, and when she went on to inform me that the catastrophe befell her after I forwarded an email from Reuters, I snorted. That was the signal, I’m thinking, for the barrage of mucosal sludge.

Even so, I don’t like being looked down upon or frowned upon for hitting out at a messenger who’s brought me bad news. That is unfair, to expect a receiver to receive all kinds of glop and remain silent. Come to think of it, that’d be the psychopathic silently-thinking cold-bloodedly-conspiring contemplatively thumb-twiddling Mephistopheles down the hall. An honest man should be allowed to lash out, to have it over with. The mistake lies with the dolt who set the messenger on his journey. He didn’t sponsor any armour.

What can you do against voices? What can you do against something that seems to come from a head far, far away? You can shout back, sure, but that’s head versus head. Can you trap voices in small black boxes? I don’t think so. What’s going to be in the box when you reopen it later is a rant without beginning or end, eviscerated neatly out of a morning it had sought to destroy but now, doing nothing to the evening.

How do you knock the serrated stiletto out of a voice that’s waiting to stab you in the back?

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