For the Ones With a Unique Voice

My husband replies, “What?” like a reflex after 98% of what I say. This isn’t something new for me. My entire life, my mom would read warnings from my teachers on slips of paper tucked inside our take-home folders, “Ashley is very sweet, but she really needs to speak up or her grade will drop.”

“Did you ask her to write yet?” Mom would always write back. She stuck it back in that folder, saying without saying, “We don’t have a problem here.”

In my head, I’m screaming, and I say a prayer for the hearing impairment of whoever I’m speaking with.

“You’re mumbling,” says my husband/mom/teacher/receptionist/doctor/cat.

You should know: I don’t set out to mumble. Written words have just always suited me better. I have time to linger and explore. Words fall out of me that I’ve never seen before and sometimes it makes perfect sense, while other times it sends me spinning like the tumbleweed rolling through the godforsaken desert. I google tumbleweed and feel known: “…once it is mature and dry, the tumbleweed detaches from its root or stem and rolls due to the force of the wind.”

I understand this tumbleweed, blown and tossed by the wind, rolling and rolling and rolling when mature words just appear out of thin air and I never could have told you that unless we met right here on this page.

Today I find a large wasp-like bug in our sunroom that has turned into my exercise room. I move down to my yoga mat and try to busy myself in child’s pose, but I can’t ignore that buzzing, half-dead invader. I whisper-yell to my husband who is working in the other room.

“What?” he yells back.

“Come here, please.”


Whether he hears my voice or not, he comes. My husband takes pictures like he’s my lab partner in some kind of science experiment and identifies it as a hornet. I don’t care what it is, frankly, I just want no part of this and beg him to just fling it outside to feed it to whoever is bold enough to indulge in such evil.

My husband saves the day, then leaves. I’m alone in the room that just held so much drama and now is quiet. I sink into child’s pose, alone with my loud voice in my head that keeps spinning and spinning and spinning.

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