Voices my cure for a bad day

I was having a bad day—the kind of bad day that you know is going to settle in like an all-day rain, with not a single chance of sunshine; the sky all dark and grey and pressing in.
The day started out with a bad tone and chances were it was going to end badly. I was suffering from daughter-withdrawal and though it is a regular affliction, something from which I suffer with dreadful regularity, I still haven’t figured out the antidote aside of getting in my car and driving like a fiend until I find a daughter and hug her until she begs me to stop.
There was no relief in sight. Laurie, who lives within range, was back at work, back in her own life, just as she should be.
Even “Gracie” came up short (Gracie is loveable and expresses her love in a variety of ways, but there is a limit to my tolerance of hair floating about and landing on me that comes as a regular feature of Gracie “loving” me, not to mention the just-been-in-the-pond-scum smell).
I had to find relief somehow. I considered skipping around the house singing “My Favourite Things,” but I was nervous that would lead to me being committed into a residence to cure such madness.
I thought of taking to the drink, but that’s not my style.
So instead I imagined Billy Connolly talking in my head. Billy Connolly could read a menu and I would burst into laughter; would giggle on the inside and every cell of my body would jiggle and wiggle, bouncing with joy.
That Scottish accent of Billy Connolly’s tickles me to my very core. I can’t possibly be glum, angry, or anything in between when I hear that voice.
It’s not Billy Connolly’s humour that makes me laugh as his humour can be pretty rank, though I heartily admire someone who can laugh, can bring his humour to the masses, after the childhood he had—a childhood of abuse and neglect.
So I hold him in high regard. But it’s just his voice, the nuance of the sound, the gentle delivery of his lines that warms the cockles of my heart.
If I was in a coma, barely hanging to life, and Billy Connolly could be persuaded to attend to my bedside and read anything that might be handy (hospital bed operation sticker, a notice about the importance of hand-washing, a list of all the many costs that our health coverage does not include), I would awaken and recover immediately.
Just his voice–and possibly a foot massage, though not necessarily performed by Billy—would be the magic ingredients required.
Another accent I am fond of is that of John Hannah, another Scottish actor but 20 years Billy’s junior. He was in “Four Weddings and A Funeral,” so you may remember him reciting the poem “Funeral Blues” to his now deceased friend:
He was my North, my South, my East and West
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
(Courtesy of W.H. Auden)
If you ever need a pick-me-up, just rent a copy of that movie and fast-forward to the funeral. It may make you weep, but it is so lovely that the weeping is worth it.
After I’ve heard John’s accent in my head, I am hard-pressed to speak in my own voice. I can’t do Billy and John’s voices justice, but I feel compelled to try. So I’ve just regaled Gracie with my version of Billy’s voice and recited John’s poem, and she seems quite delighted, wagging her tail with tremendous enthusiasm.
And the strangest thing has happened: I feel better.
wendistewart@live.ca

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