I have a friend who cringes when the car rides over bridges and through tunnels. And at home, he watches videos of roller coaster videos on Youtube. Does he watch them full-screened with the lights off? Does he scream? I forget.
I was writing this on a plane. When I felt turbulence, my first instinct was to hit “save.”
Today is Sunday. On Friday I read a peer’s piece about how that peer hears a voice in his head speaking at all hours. Or sort of, the heard voice is an expression of remembering the person.
A couple of readers in my writer's group speculated.
“That’s nothing,” said another peer. “I hear voices, like, every day. So many. Even right now. So it’s, you know, it’s not strange.”
On Friday night I sat in bed and considered the phrase hearing voices.
Hearing voices, to what extent? Spoken like they feel so real that a microphone could catch them, or just as a watermark memory of the original?
Maybe it was past midnight, and I know my head was already swirling from a few glasses of beer, but I listened to see if I could hear the voices of the day. I could. Then I tried to hear my grandparents. I smiled to know I could hear them, too. But this gleaning was more feeling the voice than hearing. And if it were hearing, it was only hearing like how one perceives a baseball game on the radio a room or two away—is it still playing?
So I clicked off my lamp and went to bed.
Maybe I was asleep for five minutes. There wasn’t any drool on the pillow and I'm sorry, but I drool a lot. I woke up to a loud whisper.
I sat up and hissed and I bunched myself up in the sheets. “No, no no,” I said. I wrapped the sheet around myself like a hood and slipped off the bed. I turned the lamp back on and I opened the windows.
There was nothing under the bed. I looked in the closet, too. Then I closed the closet door until I felt the lock click.
Surely I woke myself up, I thought. I must’ve been talking in my sleep. I need to sleep with my mouth closed. And other things, too.