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My voices in a conversation
by Katerina Charisi
2017-11-19 09:50:00
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I have two voices inside me. There is the one I speak, and the one that speaks for me inside my head. An echo constantly bouncing on my mind’s chambers and I am the only one who can hear it. Sometimes, that voice doesn’t let my own voice escape my mouth.

Just like when I was a little kid; my inner voice didn’t let me say my name out loud when my parents met friends, while my own outer voice was screaming inside me, struggling to get out: “It’s me, it’s Kate. This is my name; can’t you hear me? Oh, I wish you would hear me, I wish you would wait a little longer!” But people just smiled and nodded at me, then turned their heads away and I knew, I had embarrassed my parents.

voices000_400Or, in family gatherings, while my cousins sang or read a poem they wrote about last summer and everybody praised them; I was hiding behind the curtains, repeating my words inside my head: “Oh, sweet summer how much I long for you, the yellow trees and the sparkling sea!”  My parents would smile awkwardly and my mom would pull my sleeve to come out and say something …anything, to act normal for a little while. My inner voice would keep shutting my outer voice, and I would see behind my eyeballs the lighten stage with an audience applauding a poem I‘d never dare to speak out.

Or that other time, when my inner voice didn’t let me answers to my math teacher’s questions and I got a flat zero. It didn’t let me speak, even when I saw John spoiling Mary’s history book and she cried for the rest of the day. Mary was my best friend.

When I try to sleep, my inner voice calls my name until I’m awake and then …it stops. “Kate!” it shouts. I try to figure out who is it. Sometimes it sounds like a man, some other times it sounds like a woman. Too familiar to believe that I do know who’s behind it, too common to eventually find out who it is.

As I grow older, my inner voice is telling me awful things. It talks about a crash while in a car or a bus, a wreck when I’m on the train. It talks about the black depths of the sea and how I’m going to see my kids drowning when I’m on a ship. It crashes the plane I’m in, it collapses the balcony I’m standing on, it drops the roof I lay under, it slits my veins when I slice a watermelon, it slips my baby through my arms when I’m nursing, it burns my house when I cook.

My inner voice acts like it wants me dead.

Sometimes, my inner voice is calm and sweet and as I hold the kitchen knife before the celery it sings to me “do it, Kate, just turn it around and push it deep”. Like hypnotized I watch my own hand turning against me and pointing the kitchen knife to my chest, before I drop it in the sink and cut the celery with my hands and tears are fighting to escape from my eyes.

And then just everyone around me wonder what the hell is wrong with me as they see me squinting and cursing and spiting the words in an outer voice that I don’t even recognize: “Shut up, Kate! Just shut it already.”





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