At first I thought that walking and running and cooking and showering without making damn sure I had something tickling my ears would be hellish. Well, yesterday’s little experiment proved me pleasantly wrong, and so I extended it to today.
And then the voices came.
I was walking. A few steps down the road and it all kicked off – mentally, that is. Maybe you’ve been there: you get complacent and you let your guard down for one second and then a whole cast of characters dashes on-stage, each one more beligerent and attention-seeking than the last.
It takes all sorts. There’s the professor, furrowing his brow as he tries to solve problems that may or may not exist. There’s the old Irish in the corner trying to instigate a drunken sing-along up and turning ever so vicious when nobody joins in. There’s the wannabe Eddie Van Halen, turning his amp up to 11 and playing… whatever the hell he feels like playing.
It’s a UN meeting crossed with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest located entirely within the borders my own mind.
Normally, I’m too afraid to risk letting them in. So I put on a Story Grid podcast, or a Lou Reed album, or The Ricky Gervais Show. But I got cocky. And once they caught wind that my headspace was open for business, they didn’t shy away from making themselves at home, or inviting their extended families to visit, either.
Well, I carried on walking, and although I wanted desperately to put my hand in my pocket and reach for my phone and distract myself with something, I resolved to at least try and make it home without giving up. I reasoned that if I these characters weren’t going anywhere, I may as well try to listen to them. I could even pretend that I was listening to something – a strange new radio station broadcasting from my head, to my head.
You know, I’m glad I made that decision, because it didn’t take long at all before something very cool happened – one by one, all the characters shut the fuck up. A sort of uncommon quiet descended over me. I looked around, somewhat confused, and realised that though the voices had departed – or at least gotten really quiet – I was still very much here.
I saw how the leaves are back on the trees with a vengeance. When did that happen? I saw clean people driving dirty cars and dirty people driving clean cars. I saw sillhouettes through curtains and I wondered what secrets these people were keeping from me.
The world wasn’t suddenly without its problems, but even if just for a while, they felt light as a feather.