Saturday, October 14, 2006

Quiet Blog (Fiction)

Eager_Angel wrote:

Bravo for that wonderful and informative post, Ruth. I am so happy to have discovered your weblog. What a pleasure it is to find someone whom I so completely agree with.


Ruth wrote:

Thank you for the kind words, E.A. I like a compliment as much as the next person, but I think you’re laying it on a little thick here. My post was more snark than substance, and when you say you agree with it I hope you mean you appreciate its sarcastic bent. Not me at my best, really. But thanks anyway.


Eager_Angel wrote:

You’re too modest, Ruth. Though I must say, I wish you had found a better way to express your modesty. I wish you would not use the word “snark”, for example. Yes, I know that Mister Instant, who is a university professor, uses that word. To me it is an infantile and obscene-sounding word, and I think it far beneath you to use it.

One of the things I enjoy most about your writing is that you avoid the excessive use of hard consonants. I find it very unpleasant to read prose that is filled with the ceaseless hammering of hard consonants. I may not go to movies or read most books because of this.


Ruth wrote:

I don’t know if you’re pulling my back leg or not, E.A., but I’m glad you don’t find it unpleasant to read my blog. Your reason interests me, though. I didn’t know I was skimping on hard consonants, and I’m glad you don’t feel cheated.


Eager_Angel wrote:

Really, Ruth, at this point someone might almost accuse you of not knowing how to accept praise. What I meant was that your writing has a soothing sound to it, without all the Latinate clanging and banging about. By Latinate I mean of course the classical pronunciation of Latin, with its crunching C and punching G and piercing S sounds, not the less disturbing ecclesiastical Latin. It seems a very simple thing to say and I see no reason why you should laugh at me for saying it, Ruth.

Not long ago, I was given an analgesic drug following an operation. When I awoke in my hospital bed I very distinctly heard – through an open window - the sound of a snake slithering across a gravel path more than four miles away. That distance is an estimate, mind you, but not an exaggeration. The sound was so detailed and so distinctly present to my ear that I was able to gauge it quite well. I did not find this sound pleasant, and its duration was mercifully brief. Had it continued, I’m certain I could have counted the number of ventral scales on the snake’s belly, as well as the number of gravel stones that it disturbed in its passage.


Ruth wrote:

E.A., I assure you I wasn’t laughing at you, and let me say thanks again for your kind words. I’m not sure how your story about the snake fits in here, but I hope your operation was a success and you are feeling much better. Can we leave it there?


Eager_Angel wrote:

I have not re-read what I wrote because the sound of it is too unbearable, and you should know that I found it very DIFFICULT to write, but I thought what I said was perfectly clear, Ruth. I am told that my sensitivity to sound is neuropathic rather than physical, and that the sounds that bother me are not real sounds but aural hallucinations. I am no more sensitive to actual sound than any other person is, they tell me. But I know very well (and so do they) that these sounds have a physical effect on the body. The sounds that Beethoven heard in his mind while composing caused actual damage to his hearing, petrifying the cartilage of his ears until every “real” sound caused him agony. You can imagine the precautions I take. I change residences frequently, because I find that locations acquire a certain unsettling sound after a while. The internet is very important to me, but it’s hard to find suitable-sounding material. That’s why I was so pleased to discover your weblog, Ruth. I wish I could say I was pleased with your present comments. MAY we leave it there?

And yes, my operation was a success and I am fully recovered. For a time I had a small problem with gagging, as if I were about to vomit, though I felt no nausea at all. One of the doctors told me that this sensation was also neuropathic. This doctor is a Jew, and I have no objection to Jews, though I do not like the jarring sound that the word “Jew” makes. But this doctor articulates the “th” sound in such an aggressive manner that I cringe when I talk to him, and afterwards I feel as if I have been punched in the breast and abdomen.

Receiving no help, then, it took me some time to discover the source of my discomfort. It was a woman who lived not two blocks from the apartment that I then occupied. Although she lived alone, she frequently talked on her telephone. When she talked she made incessant use of certain four-letter words, relating to genitalia and the uses of genitalia, with an unnecessarily violent articulation of the consonant K. I don’t know if it was the frequency of her voice (from her appearance I judged her to be a Latina, about 25 years of age) or the mental imagery that she experienced when she articulated these K-words, but I felt each one as a physical contraction in my diaphragm. Having diagnosed the problem, I was able to resolve it. So yes, I am feeling much better.


Ruth wrote:

Um, I have a feeling I’m going to be sorry I asked this, but how exactly did you resolve that problem?


Eager_Angel wrote:

The sounds did not persist after the source was removed. Although her voice (or mind) was able to affect me at a great distance, it thankfully lacked resonance. It caused no apparent damage to my body or to my physical environment, though to be safe I have moved to a new apartment.


Ruth wrote:

Seriously, E.A., if were you, I would see your doctors again and let them know that you need a little more help than they’ve given you. Seriously.


Eager_Angel wrote:

You are not listening to what I write. I’ve explained why I may not talk to my doctors, and it’s not only the doctor who says “neuropathic” in an abusive manner. All doctors are self-important and speak with unnecessarily loud voices.

Just like that man who visited you last night. I don’t know if he’s a doctor, but he has an offensive manner about him and he laughs very loudly. Besides which he smokes cigarettes, and he put out a cigarette in your window box while he was waiting for you to open the door. From the first time I saw him I knew he smoked cigarettes, because of the constant hissing noise he makes. I don’t know why a young girl who lives alone would let someone like that into her apartment.


Ruth wrote:

Listen, whoever the f-k you are, this has gone far enough and before it goes any farther you should know that I’ve called the police.


Eager_Angel wrote:

There’s no need for you to carry on like that and say those words. And I know that you’re lying because I have your cell phone right here. Never mind, I can see you’re not listening to me now.


Ruth wrote:

Just to say that Ruth is not here anymore. Everything is quiet now, and Ruth is at peace. Goodbye.


Eager_Angel wrote:

Goodbye Ruth. I’m happy that you’ve found peace. I’m very sorry, though, that you are not the person I thought you were. How could a shrieking, foul-mouthed bitch have written with such serene beauty? Apparently I only heard what I wanted to hear. Isn’t that the way it always is?


Yellow_Kid wrote:

Great post, Ruth, keep it up.

I see that Eager is trolling you; I recognize the name from the old Pantech music forum. He (or she, whatever it is) was always doing spelling flames and complaining about people making noise in the thread. Real basket case with a side of fries. Some of the regulars stopped posting there because of this guy. Don’t let him bug you out.