Monday, March 27, 2017

On Easing Up The Sound Barrier

There are ways of making your presence known that some would consider uncouth and even shocking. There are ways of announcing yourself that stand out in a peculiar, and even in an amusing way. And often they happen accidentally. Yes, I'm referring to farts. But, belches count, too.

And, yes, I'm going there.

I grew up in a family that had no shame, and no compunction to refrain from making such bodily (sometimes musical) refrains. Farts were something to laugh at, or something to blame on the nearest victim. They were performed loudly and proudly, or silently and furtively (the furtive sort are the worst, as everyone knows). My family got enjoyment out of the littlest of things, this among them. I liked how easily they could laugh, even if I was usually only smiling and shaking my head.

Rarely did I share in the fun. I remember my sister saying, years later, that "Zeri never farts". It's untrue, of course, but I acknowledge that I was much more restrained than the rest of them.

Holding back was, like many things with me, a reflex. In most ways, I hold back from bringing attention to myself. I speak up only when I mean to, and that includes speaking by way of fart. Not wanting to be noticed (and thus be dragged into conversations), I would tamper any kind of noise-making I might produce. Unless by accident, sounds didn't escape from me without a lot of effort. It's funny: I've only thought about it in terms of oral sounds in the past, but I suppose I was quite deliberate when it came to other bodily sounds, as well.

It didn't bother me when others farted (unless it was the furtive sort). I didn't feel like a more proper person. My only motive was not to be noticed, although, as I've said, the act of not being noticed became habit early on, and I hardly had to try. Even today, I hardly try.

But sometimes it helps to let your voice be heard, no matter where it's coming from. Sometimes, I've learned, being heard helps make others feel comfortable. Maybe it's not always important to do so, but when those people matter, then perhaps it becomes another kind of communication, a way of saying: I'm okay being fully human with you. In those cases, maybe it's best to try easing up with the sound barrier.

Then, maybe some extra humor can be had, and some extra closeness to boot. One more way of becoming close, at least with the right people, never hurts.

Just be wary about proximity.