Sound. As I type to the hum of traffic, the cross-hatch of MTM’s pen, the pulse of keys, I sob and wish sound weren’t a thing.

I know people who are virtually deaf. I don’t wish for that fate or mean to diminish their disability.

But I am waterboarded by the sound of my own voice. People want to hear me read my memoir.

Or they *think* they do.

They don’t know a theater critic once eviscerated my speaking voice in a review. “Etched in acid,” he crowed.

A seminal theater teacher, the one who taught me to cry on a dime, once stood inches from my face in a room full of people. Her spittle fireworked across my face as she forced me to put my voice in the body, while I sobbed.

And people think this writing thing’s hard?

But the sound requirement makes it so.

I love to read aloud. Always have. Ask any child in my life. They adore me, because they know when I read them a story, their parents won’t be able to calm them down until the following afternoon. Every picture book is a theatrical production; every character a soul worthy of life.

I’m trapped in a morass of knowing what I want. How I wish my reading sounded. What I want my new website to look like. Why I need certain video.

But I only know how to make words. I don’t know design. Technology is my foil. I can record raw footage, but I can’t do a clean take. I always stumble over a word or two, and I don’t know how to fix it.

I wish the solution were to pay someone, but I only have so much money. It’s all claimed.

After ten takes of one NWMF chapter (and several temper tantrums), I decamped to another place. A less claustrophobic room. One of my hallowed places. And I listened.

Janet Cardiff’s 40 Part Motet. Sound sculpture, juxtaposed against Renzo Piano’s vision of heaven. Stick figures with speaker heads. Ellsworth Kelly on a wall.

I wish I could pour my voice into a microphone and use techno-voodoo to make a sound sculpture worth hearing.

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