The title of this note, are words that someone else used to describe me. The fact that there is a terminology for it is interesting. The funny thing is, someone else with the same abilities might be taken to the psychiatric ward of some hospital and called schizophrenic. Others who might not be so open minded might ask... "You hear voices?"
Yes, yes I do.
I wrote all about "The Great Thanksgiving Hamburger Caper", the day that I got off the train - bought 4 happy meals because I had a feeling... and then someone came in asking for money to feed their four children... That was not a product of this ability - I didn't hear a voice tell me to do it... I just suddenly knew I had to do it. I have a lot of those experiences... but that's not what I'm writing about here.
Often, I walk down Michigan Avenue. As I'm walking, I hear what some might think of as a symphony of voices. ((If you've ever seen the show Heroes - think of Matt Parkman - but less focused.)) Happy thoughts come at me like flutes and triangles... little finger cymbals. High tones - light, fluffy, and cute. Angry thoughts come at me like piano... soft but quick tempo. Misery though, misery comes at me like deep booming bass and loud percussion. Now those are metaphors for what I actually hear. Happy thoughts actually do sound like music - those thoughts I don't even hear, really. Angry thoughts are usually drowned out by the sheer amount of misery. Truth is - there are a lot of unhappy people out there.
It's how I know which homeless people want money for drugs or alcohol - and which ones need it for food. Why I sometimes cross a street from the less busy side to the busiest side... because a piano is coming toward me.
I need to say this though. I can't nor would ever want to hear everyone's thoughts. Most of the time I get impressions from people. But when I'm outdoors for some reason, everything gets super amplified. When I walk by a hospital - I have to listen to music or be with people talking about everything and nothing. I also don't hear ALL thoughts. Most people have an ability to shut off something inside of themselves that is broadcasting to me. Sometimes they open their minds and I can hear thoughts. "Hey I was just thinking that!" is a phrase I hear often.
This started when I was in my 20s, the ability to hear misery. Before that I could just feel it. Constantly feeling pain. I still feel it, but I hear it too. Yeah, you're right, it does suck. I have a high tolerance for pain - I have no choice in that matter.
I started a project about a year ago. It's an internal project. I shut off my receptors. That sounds so Sci-Fi doesn't it? I started figuring out how to lessen the feelings - and silence the voices. Now I listen to a much higher and quieter tone... what I call the Universal Tone. Hanging up there, high above the misery and symphony of happiness, sadness, and anger there is another voice. It's a calm voice. Musically - it's a Cello. It's a voice that tells me when I should pay attention, if I should turn left or right, or whether a mom on the bus with me is 2 seconds away from smacking her child... so I should maybe go over there and see if I can defuse things before they get ugly. If the collective consciousness had a voice - the one I hear would be it. It's so much better to focus on the ONE than the ALL - better still when the ALL joins to form a ONE.
The feelings - I've just learned to live with. I shake them off. How? I boogie. iBoogie! Movement can move negative energy around - so I listen to music and bop my head - tap my feet and wiggle my ass. Not only is it fun, but it shakes off the pain.
So, next time you see me on Michigan Avenue... be happy! And when you see me boogie in the street, you'll now know why.