I Lost My Voice

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

Photo: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

If you’ve ever had the experience of finding yourself without a voice, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a confounding sensation, like involuntary confinement behind bars that are invisible to the eyes of others.

In a concert of choral music, a friend was singing a song that went “I lost my voice…to sing.” Right at the point where he got to the word “voice,” he was supposed to extend the note, according to the musical score, and then pause in silence.

I do not know what he was thinking but he decided to continue the “ce” sound after what should have been that short silent break. This triggered a wave of laughter throughout the audience and even jokes once the concert ended.

But other mistakes can be just as terrible, like what happened to a friend of mine this winter.

I spent several days nursing a cold thanks to cold drizzling rain that I’d gotten drenched in one afternoon. With a group of friends, I had started looking for shelter from a sudden rainstorm in the middle of the Lenin Park, where we had gone for a picnic.

I remember we found a place at the entrance of what looked like a cave. Right there, between the stories I was telling and the songs I sang to entertain my colleagues as the rain poured, I was left literally speechless.

I spent several days at home from work using my sick days. Once recovered, I met up with the same friends. Lucia, who lives near my house and is the oldest of the group, told me that a few days prior, when she left work early, even though it was dark she could make out a man who looked like me outside the doctor’s office.

Calling from the street, she asked, “How’s your voice doing?” Since the man she thought was me didn’t respond, she immediately thought that I was in even worse shape than before. Therefore, she crossed the street, went up on the sidewalk and again asked, “Hey, how’s your voice?”

After a pause, the man turned and gruffly replied, “I beg your pardon, but I’ve never had problems with my voice.”

Jorge Milanes

Jorge Milanes: My name is Jorge Milanes Despaigne, and I’m a tourism promoter and public relations specialist. Forty-five years ago I was born in Cojimar, a small coastal town to the east of Havana. I very much enjoy trips and adventure; and now that I know a good bit about my own country, I’d like to learn more about other nations. I enjoy reading, singing, dancing, haute cuisine and talking with interesting people who offer wisdom and happiness.

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