I flipped the cushion on my couch once again. I was positive that this time, probably the hundredth time since that fateful May morning ,I would find it. Again I did not. My voice was lost, I needed to go out and get a new one. It was a pity really. I actually enjoyed my old voice. It was connected to a set of eyes that saw the inherent good in all people. But it was lost and I am not fond of the new voice I found , sitting behind a dumpster ignored by even the rats and cockroaches, to replace it.
The new voice, an ill fit for this mouth of mine, is a terribly raspy thing. It has learned to spew out hatred in volume and breadth that would make the EPA drool with the dream of all the project that would be funded after the fines were collected . The toxic sludge that spews from it is dark, smells foul and grates to the ears of anyone who listens to it.
I check behind a picture I have of me in Thailand. This picture is from, quite easily, the happiest day of my life. My soft smile was even then and I still squinted and developed rabbit like eyes that my Korean students said resembled the rabbit superhero Mashi Maro . Looking at the picture bring backs a flood of memories. It was a time where I was finally gaining control of my life. I had no idea what the future lay in store for me. I had no idea that the person I trusted the most would deliberately try to save me. I am happy he never saved a copy of that photo, I would hate for that photo to share the same fate as the few remaining remnants of my previous life had and that this person would say quite honestly the concept of me being in a homeless shelter because of his problems did not seem unreasonable.
My smile now is hardly the same. Fighting to keep a roof over my head forced me to postpone desperately needed dentist work which caused me to lose a tooth or two. My smile is faked and crooked and done mainly for the benefit of others, so they don’t have to worry. “I do plenty of worrying about myself for several people so there is no need for people to worry for me” I say. I just know that genuine concern turns to indifference and then anger that you don’t get better. I don’t blame them really, I am angry at myself also.
But my fallacious smile with its half truths is a perfect fit for the fangs I grew to protect myself. The deviled tounge makes it easier for curse words and and tell ugly truths about lovely people. Truths ,I was happy to hide so long as I was left to be on my own in peace or left in one piece. My precious words that once built waterfalls filled with epic battles against zombies and the giant words that had grown into sentient beings and chased me as I dodged responsibilities were now being used to degrade the people who I once cared for and defend, of all things, my basic human right to defend myself.
It is said in many religions, including mine, that we as humans are given a limited number of words. When we use them all, we die. That is why we should use them for holy things or good things. But this new voice was never taught this rule and carelessly, albeit not needlessly, wasted words I would have preferred to use for other things. And now I am afraid I have no more.