At the Day Job, a lot of our business is done on the phone. It's not unusual to talk to a customer every other month or so for years on end without ever meeting them in person. There comes a point with every customer when you instantly recognize their voice and can recite pertinent information before they do: the address and person their order will go to, the amount they usually spend, their payment method, etc.
With one customer in particular, that point came much sooner than it has with any of the others I've dealt with in my seven years at the shop. This customer was blessed with an amazing voice--rich, warm, flowing, enveloping. It gets me every time, inspires involuntary cooing and giggling. I once saw actress Dana Delaney on a late night talk show describing her trip to South America. She said she'd stepped off the plane in Brazil and the heat, the humidity, the teeming crowds and strains of music from the street musicians, "went straight to my crotch." The Voice is kinda like that. I have to steel myself against it. And it's a major effort.
My only defense is to remember the week a few summers ago when I got to meet The Voice in person. The Voice calls to mind tall, dark, handsome, charming but not "slick," sexy but not smarmy and a whole host of other appealing characteristics. The reality of The Man Behind The Voice is stocky, average height, minimal neck, and very, very hairy--troll hairy, the kind of hairy you can only suspect when you see a fully dressed man, that hints of the horrors that lie beneath.
The day after I first met him, I made a delivery to his parents house and was greeted by TMBTV wearing shorts and a tank top, which left his pelt alarmingly visible. This is a profoundly hairy man--so hairy, in fact, that the tattoo on his right shoulder reminded me of moss-encrusted statuary you see in cemeteries and at battlefield memorials--you almost want to scrape away the moss, but can't bring yourself to touch it. He was sweating a little because it was so humid and he had been moving tables and chairs all morning, so each strand and clump of hair glistened in the morning sun, winking in an ominous and repulsive way.
I'm not in general a squeamish person--I mean seriously, would I have made it this far with four kids without requiring electroshock therapy if I were squeamish?--but thatch-like body hair not only repulses me, it actively alarms me.
In this case, that alarm is a good thing because it's the only thing that keeps me from making a total idiot of myself every time he calls. I counsel the primal response to his voice with reminders of the visual reality: "He's hairy, he's hairy, he's hairy, he's hairy."
And, most of the time, it works.
I Am Not a Wimp
5 hours ago