My Voice In High Fidelity

It’s a circular motion tightening towards perfection. I have to do it just right, so that bare wire is wrapped around the screw and tightly secured to the amp. Outside my dusty metaphor, you’re all talking and I’m lost in your stories. I’m listening for that moment when it’s all right, then my voice will be clear.

The conversation is moving back and forth from Bush to Nazis like the subject hasn’t been reiterated to the point of disintegration. Still Sue throws the few remaining atoms supporting her liberal bias. Gary reacts according to his new reactionary role. They go back and forth. The only thing I can think about is Sue’s green eyes when they move my way. She’s just making sure I’m still there.

Well I’m still here and every time she turns to me, I get closer and closer to having the voice I need. The topic is winding down and if I have a new one, I need to have it right now. My mind searches for the right channel; having found the right sound, I need the right words. It needs to be witty, charming.

“I love you Sue.”

The non sequitur floats above us for a few minutes as I try to pass it off as a joke. The clarity I had searched for has now betrayed me. My voice was sincere and my words are impossible to disown. The coffee shop seems silent but that may be due to he fact that eleven o’clock is a strangely dead time at The Sumatran.

The conversation comes back and my outburst is dismissed as an anomaly. On the radio, a harmonica starts up and then I hear Barry McGuire. My first thought is that it’s in my head but I know better. No, I don’t have that good of an imagination. The radio sings about bodies floating down the Jordan River and I’m currently stupid enough to feel like I relate.