Saturday, 21 February 2015

My Voice Doppelganger


I have never been very good on the phone. Some people can just yabber away for hours and hours, saying everything and nothing at the same time. The way I see it, if I like someone enough to talk to them for hours then I will make the effort to go over and talk to them in person.

Maybe the problem is that I just don’t like anyone enough to talk to for hours and hours. Maybe I like my friends too much and feel that they deserve my full and undivided attention. Anyone that knows me will know that it is a chore to get me to shut up when we are in the same room. I have never been comfortable with “comfortable silence”. To me, “comfortable silence” is just “awkward silence” tarted up.

Sometimes I wonder if my being not willing to ramble on the phone stems from my not liking my voice. I have hated my voice since the first time I heard it on a tape during my weekly speech therapy sessions when I was in public school. Inside of my head, it has always sounded …normal. When I listen to the recorded version it just sounds like some high pitched idiot. I am always thrown for a loop when my voice is played back to me. How could anyone take this guy seriously? Fifty years later and I’m still not comfortable with my voice.

There was a time when I had to make hundreds of phone calls at the beginning of soccer season. I’d have to arrange for coaches to grade the kids and then have to call all of the parents and explain time and date of the try outs. Once the try outs had been held, I would have to call the parents back and tell them where to take the little darlings for their first practice. I don’t know what the parents thought of my voice, no one ever laughed in my face. I did get used to being on the phone for hours at a time and I counted my blessings that I didn’t have a job that entailed time talking on the phone. The job I had was more or less solitary for the most part.

Now, if I need to talk on the phone to set up an appointment or ask questions, I have great difficulty organizing my thoughts. If I don’t write down all of the pertinent information on a piece of paper in front of me, I just start to babble. Often if the call goes to voice mail, I don’t leave my number or name or even the reason for the call in the first place. I intend to leave my name, number and reason for the call, but I get flustered. I feel like that little boy in a small supply office at Maryvale P.S. who has to leave class because he doesn’t talk like all of the other kids talk.

Some things in life keep following you throughout the years and no matter where life’s journey has taken you, they stay the same. I am who I am and my voice is a part of what makes me…me.

There was a fellow in the coffee shop that looked at me today and said “I feel like I should know you.” I told him that everyone should know me, but in this case I didn’t think so.”


His buddy told him that he knew who I reminded him of but it was more voice than looks. I wonder if my voice doppelganger spent his life trying to avoid talking on the phone.

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