The Voices

Everybody's talking at me
I don't hear a word they're saying
Only the echoes of my mind.


I kept hearing the voices. First the voices come and then the bad thoughts. I struggled to block out the voices, and with great fortitude of concentration was able to mentally transport to a different headspace wherein all I heard echoing in my cranium was Beethoven's third symphony, Eroica.

With every push of the pedals I felt myself pounding my way toward victory in synchrony with the tempo and rhythm of the music. That was sustainable for a few miles and when my fury was spent and my intensity subsided it was back. The voices.

Then I realized that these were not the same voices I had heard earlier which were really reminiscences of eerie quotes from the movie, "Silence of the Lambs." No! Though like a phantom presence, these voices had a familiarity to them. It was not a comforting familiarity, but there was comfort in knowing that they were external to me and not the product of either delusion nor delirium.
These were the voices of my fitness watch and my phone conferencing between each other regarding my level of exertion, or lack thereof. I was unaware of their content because my phone was shoved in my bike bag on the rack behind me such that its voice was muffled. The most sober thought was that anything I might have inferred from the conversation was a projection of my mental state, more precisely the state of my self-concept. When I felt my pace was good, I assumed that they were the voices of encouragement. However, when I felt that my effort was dismal and pathetic, I perceived that they were telling me so, "Really! Is that the best you can do? That's not very impressive now is it.” It is sort of like when it seems that you hear the redundant sound of your car turn signal repeating a word or phrase, but the words you perceive are a projection of your mood. (You don’t want to know what I think I hear my blinker say when I am stuck in traffic and have had a bad day.)

Fortunately, the voices I heard were nothing like the movie, “The Voices” (starrng one of the Ryans either Gosling or Reynolds, same diff; all those Canadians look alike). The voices were not the boss of me, and they were not going to compel me to pull a John Hinkley Jr or anything like that. (That insanity defense would be off the table for me, wrong time period and wrong demographic).

Even more than I am in control of any preoccupation with guns, I am in control of my impulses regarding bikes. I had the impulse to buy a bike last month and enacted a self-imposed thirty-day waiting period. I remembered that the urge to buy a new bike just like the craving for a doughnut would go away, if I just ignored it. Then again, if I had ignored the craving for a doughnut a little more often, perhaps I would not be pushing so much weight up the hill on the way home and hearing my phone say, ““Fat, Drunk, And Stupid Is No Way To Go Through Life, Son, [now is it?].”

"Looky here Louie Miller, disappeared, dear
After drawing out his cash
And MacHeath spends like a sailor
Did our boy do somethin' rash?"

The important take away from all of this is that if I am driven by the voices to do something rash, it is not likely to involve weapons but will mostly likely involve drawing out all my cash to buy a bicycle and doughnuts, lots of doughnuts to eat at the end of my bike ride.  

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