The voice in which we speak of the terrible things is everywhere. I hear it on the radio, TV, in conversations, and it’s ferociously loud in the tone of the voice in social media. It fills the space with everything from desperation, pain, anger, enthusiasm, style, and theatricality.
I hear the voice beg for help, cry against injustice, scream to bring awareness to a terrible thing, and yet I also hear it dance around, upstage and lose focus on the terrible thing itself. The voice is all over the place and the nature of every opinion has become a mystery to me.
As I hear the white noise of the voice in my box fan while I try to sleep, in the rain against the roof, and right now in the hum of a train as I write this, I feel the need to block out the voice in order to hear my own thoughts about the terrible things. Some of the terrible things are in fact terrible things beyond words and the mode in which they are delivered. But the voice demands a voice and the voice that speaks of the terrible things erects a wall, reinforced with certainty. We cannot question this voice; it is serious. It is terrible.
But actually, it’s just the voice.
The terrible-ness of a thing is not dependent on the presentation of how you talk about it. It is no more or less terrible if someone talks about the terrible thing in the same voice in which they talk of the groceries they need to buy; the groceries would not be as terrible, and the terrible thing would not be reduced to a grocery list.
I can’t help but hear the insidious ring of dramatic performance layered within the din of the voice that speaks of terrible things. I’m not talking about histrionics, I’m talking simply about the talking that touches the fringes of issues while adorning the voice with touches of fringe. It rubs elbows so closely with Performance, and the attention and gratification it brings, and the concern of how well the voice is talking about the terrible things. I hear so much eagerness in the voice to talk in the terrible tone, write tomes about it in that tone, and put on a copyright logo on the terrible thing claiming, “this terrible thing is my terrible thing”.
I have become suspicious and I’m going deaf. I have come to a strange point where I don’t trust anything but the terrible thing itself. And this is a terrible thing, and this is my voice speaking of it.