Did I just say that? Did you hear it?
“Good morning babies.” It is a simple statement. I make it every morning when I open the blinds in the kitchen. I look out on a fence with a bird feeder and welcome the day.
And I use my ‘outside’ voice. You know the one. The voice we say in private when no one else is listening. The voice that reminds us we are sane. Then again maybe it is the voice that says we are not?
It is the voice you hear at the grocery store when someone is looking at a jar of pickles and deciding what to choice. It is acceptable if they have there had to their ear and are talking in some sort of rational discussion to another about a choice of sweet or dill.
Then there is that voice that goes off in your head. You know the one that tells you not to cross on a yellow light or double check to make sure your keys are in your pocket before you lock your door.
It is your silent voice that no one but yourself hears. At least you hope so. Then you won’t sound as crazy as those people wandering around talking to themselves.
Don’t be so sure.
When you are alone. I mean really alone and there is no one else to talk to, there begin conversations that would not seem logical. A one-way conversation to only one begins to take place and it seems very logical.
For the conversation will be with inanimate objects or creatures that cannot reply and will never understand. If in a whisper, this conversation to the air might not seem so disturbing, but you can hear your voice say the words. Logically you know others can also hear the words.
Does it matter? I’m not sure. I don’t remember speaking out loud to trees and vegetables or sounds and shadows before, but I do now. Since there is no one else to compare the action and reaction to then it makes perfect sense to reply to myself that I have acknowledged a sound or color or movement in my limited world.
When I hear someone talking out loud in my immediate area, I normally move away. I reserve the predisposition that the person who talks to them selves are somewhat altered. Then I listen to myself.
“Hey Guys!” I say as I walk out into the yard everyday. That is in my outside voice. “How are you guys doing today?” I ask dead air space. Rationally I know the furry critters up in the trees do not have any idea of what I am saying but they do recognize my vocal tone.
“I’ll feed you when I get back” I say everyday before my bike ride to the store. What happens in the yard after that I have no idea, but I know there is increased chatter when I return. “They” know I’m back and there is a possibility of being fed.
After spreading out the buffet, I put up my bike and open the blinds to watch the reaction. As the alphas come down to gather their booty, I say through the window, “Now you guys got to share. Don’t forget to leave some for the birds.”
And when the birds come down to peck their share I welcome them out loud with, “Good day to you Mister Cardinal. And good morning to Mrs. Cardinal, hope you enjoy the buffet. Hello Blackcap. Get some seed.” All of this is said out loud and I can hear it and I wonder why I can hear it.
When I hear a scarp on the roof of the squirrels running to the trees and the path to the food, I say out loud, “Petie, be good out there.” If I were a neighborhood listening to this, I would probably wonder.
If you ever listen to your neighbors, and I do not advise this, they also talk to all kinds of stuff. Some have children and they order them back and forth to apply childhood. Some banter to their neighbors on subjects they know nothing about or care about. Some with talk in that strange high voice we reserve for dogs and babies.
Maybe this will put me in the hall of fame for the crazies but I will continue to talk to the shadows. They listen to me and condemn my statements.
In the summer as I sit on the porch and call out to the “Peties” who have been trained by my routine of spreading out food for them, that I am not a danger but a source of abundance they can not find elsewhere. “Want a peanut?” I will say and the little critters will stop and look at me, without fear but to acknowledge the sound of my voice means ‘food’.
This doesn’t demean me any for I know that if I want to enjoy their company I must feed them and provide them with shelter and water and a space to roam. Sure, they may not have any emotional attachment to me, but so is the pet in your house.
When I drop a key or a piece of paper or slid on a piece of ice only to catch myself, I say out loud, “Nice one Cliffie.” Is that statement for me to hear or is it a reminder that sanity is only a brief step away?