Almost three weeks ago, I got a sore throat. It hurt to talk, so I didn't. It progressed into the first legit cold I'd had in a long time with all the grisly symptoms plus laryngitis.
After a week and a half I started feeling better, more sociable. I tried to talk but my voice would fade out after a couple sentences and my throat would start feeling uncomfortable. I revised my approach, single words like the One Word Test from Doctor Who:
But too often there was not enough context or the word would be missed and I'd have wasted my throat for nothing.
I tried hand gestures a la Charades but that too was mostly a bust. I wanted to participate but what I was becoming best at conveying was exasperation.
If what I could say or convey was limited, what did I want to say?
Most of what had been crossing my mind in the course of others' conversations was unimportant. Interjections that weren't worth the effort. Their absence actually made things smoother.
I sat back.
One of the nice things about people not expecting you to talk is that you don't have to answer a lot of extraneous questions. There are less interruptions to my day, less demands on my attention.
Oddly, I think I smile more. Possibly because my reactions have been reduced and simplified.
Thumbs up, thumbs down, shoulder shrug. Pointing is not as effective as I thought it would be.
Rarely I write notes. Sometimes I draw air letters. I'm pretty good at drawing them backwards to be correct for the viewer.
And occasionally I bust out the pantomime. But now, for the most part, instead of exasperation I embrace the hilarity of it.
10 years ago on TTaT: The New Desktop