Open Journal: Third Person, Inactive Voice

Danielle has mad respect for people who can sing well while in emotional distress. When she’s sad or angry or anxious, vocal control is the first thing to go. She goes all tight – mouth, throat, chest, and deeper – locking up the words, strangling the sound. Forget making music – just talking’s close enough to impossible.


The more I have to say,

the less I do,

because I know for sure

you wouldn’t hear me.

Once, at her desk, she scribbled that down, and then crossed it out, then got back to numbly performing her day job.

It seems some people spill all their business on social media. Got angst? Throw a wall of text at Facebook, or rant it out in a long thread of Tweets.

Danielle can’t do that.

Or she could, but she doesn’t, because she’s not sure which would be worse:

Being seen as a melodramatic complainer…

…Or not being seen at all.


Because I don’t have the time, she thought, re: why she couldn’t get in the NaNoWriMo zone this year.

Because I don’t have the energy.

Because I don’t have the inspiration.

Upon further reflection, none of that was the problem.

The problem is that she’s been broken.

During her last days in Germany, someone wrecked her. Knocked her half-senseless with words. It was all she could do to choke out a stammering reply without crying, and face a morning of mandatory socializing without collapsing, and fake a smile that hid the truth she half-wished somebody would see and save her from.

The day before, she’d been working on a story.

In the days since, trying to explore fiction has been like singing in distress.

Two months later, her author self is still locked up tight, and she doesn’t know how to coax it out again.



Sometimes, when Danielle’s too upset to talk, she’ll have a character do it for her. Usually Will, if he’s not too upset on her behalf. Or Allyn, if he chooses to favor the conversation with his presence. Or Gilbert, whom you still haven’t met properly, but has been mentioned before a time or two.

Danielle thought of having one of them write this blog post for her. Maybe one of them has. You wouldn’t know. This post’s voice isn’t polished up for show; for sounding how one’s “supposed to” sound. It’s just about forcing the words past a locked-up chest and squeezed-tight throat and clamped-closed mouth, out and free into the open. It’s about speaking the truth aloud (or whatever you call the typed up equivalent), and that’s easier done for Danielle in the third person.

So. Now it’s out.

Which will be worse: Seen, or unseen?

Probably whichever one she has to live through.