the original kStyle blog.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Angry Mime

I lost my voice yesterday. I went to work anyway, because aside from a little fatigue and congestion, I wasn’t feeling all that bad. The laryngitis didn’t hurt; I just couldn’t talk.

But people insisted on chatting away to me anyway. I’d nod, smile, mouth a word or two in reply, and wave goodbye to “dismiss” myself, and my colleagues would look at me like I was being bizarre or rude. After they left my office or I theirs, I would dash off a hasty email connecting the dots that none possessed the mental wherewithal to connect themselves: I’m not intending to be rude or odd—I have laryngitis.

OH, they replied, so THAT'S why you’re acting strange.

My friends C. and P. were the only ones who were—what, sensitive?, observant?--enough to figure it out on their own. A brief hello (as it were) in the hall was enough for C. to say, “Oh, you have laryngitis!” When I reached my desk, I emailed her and said:

You get a gold star! You are the only person here astute enough to figure out
that I have laryngitis. Everyone thinks I’m whispering for my own amusement. And
you somehow, I imagine, figured it out without the benefit of a good night’s
sleep the others had.

(C. is a new mother.)

C. replied: Yes, we work with idiots.

Later, P. popped by my desk on one of her rounds to the vending machine for iced tea. (It’s like crack to her.) I wrote my tale of woe on a pad: No one can figure out that I have laryngitis! They’re treating me like a demented freak! She told me that she encountered the same difficulty when she had laryngitis about this same time last year. She said, “And by the third day I was definitely Angry Mime,” as she shook her fists dramatically, angrily, in the air, mouth open but emitting no sound.

Then she gave me her stash of cough drops. God bless her.

I’m not at work today. Too exhausting for a mime.


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