Panorama of San Bernardino

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My spoken words

I am a child of the 1980's.  Wait, that's not right.  I grew up in the 1970's and 1980's in a time of typewriters and cursive script.  That's better.

I have never been technologically savvy so when I recently had to make a podcast reading of one of my stories for an online literary journal I was flummoxed.  The editor sent an email, but the instructions sounded like some computer kid's ramblings in cypher code.  It made my brain hurt.  Thus, I procrastinated. The recording of the piece wasn't due for a couple of weeks, I had plenty of time.

Whining "help me" and "can you do it for me?" to my husband didn't help either.  My husband has been working six days a week and has had a persistent cold.  He ignored my pleas.

 On the Friday the mp3 was due, I sat in my office at lunch trying to download the app on my iphone.  Apple kept rejecting my password.

"Fuck," I yelled at the picture of Sid Vicious which hangs on my wall unframed (it is a Sex Pistols poster dammit, to frame it would be blashphemous). Lucky for me, cussing out loud in our office is no big deal.  I sometimes find myself muttering a string of filthy expletives in an angry tirade as I walk down the hall.  No one even notices.  I have found a home.

Apple rejected my password a second and third time and wasn't allowing me to reset.  I had wanted to make my recording in the quietness of an office with a shut door, but I would have to do this at home.

That Sunday evening, I was watching TV waiting for Dexter to come on and realized my mp3 was two days overdue.  "Fuck," I yelled at my husband jumping out of bed.  "It's late, it's late," I said sounding like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.

Apple finally prompted my password reset and I downloaded the app on my phone.  By this time, I was downstairs and could hear the rat a tat tat of my husband's Call of Duty game upstairs.

I started recording my story with iaudition reading off my iPad.  It was not pretty.  I kept on jumbling my words.  The dogs started barking.  On my tenth try, I did a decent recording of the whole story but halfway through a car alarm went off outside.  I played the recording and debated whether I should just send it and get this whole thing over with.  It wasn't that bad, I thought to myself.  The car alarm gave it a surreal feel.

No.  I had to start over.  And over.  And over.

About twenty tries in, I was halfway through another reading and it was going well.  I had a rhythm.

"What's for dinner?" Adrian yelled downstairs in a nasally tinged voice.

"Fuck," I yelled back at him.  "I'm in my recording studio.  Shut up!"

"What's for dinner?" he yelled again.  "I'm sick."

I am not good at explaining how to go screw yourself when stressed so I just ignored him until his pleas for dinner went away.

Maybe I would have to learn to use the editing feature on iaudition.

I decided to try one last time and finally, bingo! Even though I stumbled on a couple words, I was pleased.  It sounded dramatic and there was no car alarm in the background.  My dogs sat like a quiet audience and watched me while I read.  Golden Ponyboy.  Golden.

I took it upstairs and Adrian and I listened to it together.  I almost fell asleep to the lull of my own words.  Was I dreaming?  Was that really me?  Did I really write that story?

It was a dream, my dream, come true in that digital audio file on my iPad just waiting to be heard.