Last year right before Art in the Square, I lost an ovary. This year, a day before the festival, I lost my voice. (I'm guessing, though, that, unlike my ovary, my voice will return. But it has been gone for three days so far so I'm growing a tad concerned.)
I'm capable of whispering. And emphatic gesticulations. This evening, to express laughter, I slapped my knee repeatedly. It's all so middle-school-summer-theater-camp-exercises.
Wide-eyed pantomiming aside, I feel so boring. I can't talk to people! I sit and smile encouragingly. I nod. I frown. Sure, it's an excuse to avoid small talk, but those awkward moments that are so easily filled with conversation are just more awkward. A lack of a voice also increases my wallflower tendencies. Long the observer, I'm relegated to the role, even if I wanted to participate.
The last three days has been a lesson in empathy, though, too, because my temporary predicament is a permanent fact of life for many people.