There are voices in my stupid old head. But don’t worry. They are not dog voices telling me brunettes need to be shot with a .44. They are echoing voices. Voices of loved ones, voices of students, voices of random amusing people I have known and how they talk, the many voices of Robin Williams, and, of course, the singing voice of Roy Rogers.
I really don’t know how many times I traveled down dark and dangerous pathways with, “Happy trails to you…” echoing in my stupid head. It helped me through surgery. It helped me through hospitalization for a “That EKG could mean you are having a heart attack right now.” It wasn’t a heart attack. It helped me with the meeting with a judge for my Chapter 13 bankruptcy… which was caused by the coulda-been heart attack.
I hear the voices of departed relatives too. My sweet old Reagan-Republican Grandma Beyer comes back to me talking about magazine ads in “Look” magazine in the early seventies.
“Now, those children are positively up to no good. Look at the expressions on their evil little faces. Do you really believe they are merely going to eat that food? Or are they going to make someone wear it, scare it, or underwear it?
“And look at the neon-blue eyes those youngsters have! Do you suppose that orange juice is radioactive or something? It certainly doesn’t look like its doing them any good health-wise to be drinking that much. They look wired!”
Or when she saw TV Guide’s picture from the mini-series “V” in the 80’s.
“Land Sakes! That’s one pretty awful skin condition that poor man has. I certainly wouldn’t want to get infected with that!”
And there’s always the voice of Mark Twain lurking in the back of my brain watching for a chance to remark on something and make me laugh.
“I don’t like to commit myself about Heaven and Hell… You see, I have friends in both places.”
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to any vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
“No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.”
“Okay, you can shut up now, Mark, before I laugh myself to death,” I replied.
And then there’s all those imaginary people that my own demented psyche gave birth to and now live in my fiction. They follow me around everywhere too, making comments, encouraging me, sometimes discouraging me, and always making me forget that I am actually talking to myself. I write down a lot of what they say. It becomes the basis for another book or two, or possibly twenty.
So, you see, I am rarely lonely. My mind is never quiet. And there’s always a conversation going on, no matter that I am completely alone and no one is saying anything at all out loud.