Daily writing prompt
What would your life be like without music?

A few years ago, I was put on inhalers for occasional asthma, and they warned me that my voice might change while I was on them. OK, we might envision my normal grumble turning into a mellifluous baritone in some fantasy world. But instead, I went from a grumble to sounding more like a cement mixer. Because I had been a 1960s folk singer and performer, I had few pretensions that I’d one day be invited to perform at the opera. But the new voice was something I was willing to donate pronto to makers of horror films looking for desperate creatures about to ravage the heroine.

While it has been many years since I had either sung in a choir or performed, the first time I sat down with my guitar, I was amazed by my new voice. Grinding gears sounded better. The cat left the room, and the dog began to whimper. Who was this monster, this deception who had replaced Father? The cat’s misery attracted the attention of my wife, who asked if I had a sore throat. She brought me a hot tea with honey and said it could make a terrible sore throat tractable. Rather than grunting out an unintelligible gargle of gravel, I merely smiled and sipped. It did help a bit.

The inhalers are in a box, and I hope to avoid another course of treatment with them. By and large, I have regained my normal voice, which still is not up to concert standards.

I hope they can prescribe me medication that improves my voice next time. Well, one can only hope, right?

7 Replies to “Gravel?”

  1. I’d never heard of that side effect, but it makes sense! I’m allergic to the albumen inhaler(s) so I keep an otc Primatene one in the house (which works well enough for me) in case I get sick. I’m thinking, though, a gravelly voice might be great for singing shanties!

  2. keep singing friend, and don’t stop… your cat will come back and join you… he was just jealous and you know how snitty a cat can be if they get offended… and dogs always sound forlorn when they try to harmonize with us… its not the pups fault, maybe share your tea with em

  3. Most of my friends in high school were in choir. They talked me into auditioning. I went. The director asked me to sing thirds. He plunked them on the piano. I tried. He said, “I think you should leave. This isn’t for you.” I like to sing, though, and I have ONE friend I can sing with. He was — like you — a “folkie” but also 40s and 50s oldies and toured a bit out here in the day. He and I sing Roger Miller’s songs together and have a lot of fun doing it. Of course, everyone else is still in bed when we do that… Dang me.

    1. I was sad when roger Miller died. He was great songwriter, and entertainer. Never had any of his songs in my rep, but I certainly sang enough of them while traveling on the road.

      1. I loved Roger Miller. My brother and I sang to his albums when we did the dishes when we were kids. The man in my life — who lives thousands of miles away — said in our next life we would do things differently. All I could think of, “If I was a bird and you was a fish what would we I guess we’d wish for re-incarnation, re-incarnation, wouldn’t it be a sensation to come back to like in reincarnation.” I didn’t share that with the man. I you can’t laugh at life’s major mistakes, what’s the point of living?

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