I have (literally) lost my voice. This may come as a surprise to people who know me. To paraphrase one of my students, I could talk the potato off of a couch.
My voice loss happened gradually. During my last two days of classes, my voice sounded like a claw rasping against a window. Then it cut out altogether — right in the middle of class — and I wonder when it will ever come back.
It’s hard to get by with no voice at all. Going to the grocery store is strange. Boxboys say, “Paper or plastic?” Cashiers say, “Credit card or debit?” Then I point at my tonsils, and make a throat-slashing gesture to signify my voicelessnes. They don’t understand. They get cross with me. They think I am threatening them. Last night, I woke up to find my cat, Robert Earl, biting me on the arm. I opened my mouth to shriek. Nothing came out.
It’s not all bad. Normally, if I clap my hands really loudly to get my wife’s attention, she would take offense at this. This week, I’m allowed to clap at her, snap my fingers and point to stuff that I want. That part of it has been fun. I’m boning up on my Pictionary and miming skills.


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