always pushed it a little too far at that age. When
you're ten, little sounds will amuse you and I took
this to the limit of my parents' patience. It started
with trying to puff out my cheeks and speak coherently,
but this would extend to mouth noises, tongue clicks,
ear pops and chin squeaks. My entire head was a
concert hall and I was the conductor, orchestra
and audience. The advantage was that at least in
the beginning, no one else could hear me and I kept
quiet on car rides, while my parents watched the
news and ran major errands. Everyone was relatively
happy and I was quiet. The disadvantage was that
I looked as if someone were shocking me with jolts
of electricity, that I was possessed and my hearing,
(not very good to begin with) was diminished even
would add to this concerto with an encore; I would
cover my ears with both hands and lift them off
with a steady rhythm. The effect inside my head
was that outside sounds could attain an otherworldy
quality and change altogether into a crackling,
staccato festival. I could hear my fingers slide
in and out of my ears and besides feeling good,
I could add that rhythm to the program. I was on
fire! This was the best set yet, I would concur.
The audience loves it, too, I emphasized, as my
head, shoulders, hips, knees and feet got into it,
this point, my brother or sister would notice me
and nudge me to quit touching them. It is ironic
that we strive and beckon for attention as kids,
but the minute our siblings touch us, we holler
bloody murder. "Mom, he's touching me!"
touching your sister, Danny!" I would not hear
as they said it, usually without turning around.
This was the first warning not heard at all initially,
definitely not by Mr. Sound (me) as I continued
to pulsate and gyrate to my own internal beat. Invariably
a sound would escape and I of course wouldn't notice.
Years before personal stereos, I ws not to be disturbed
by the outside world!
brother or sister would hear this sound and assume
it was directed at them. They couldn't hear what
was inside my head, but they knew a derisive noise
when they heard one. "Danny's making rude noises
stop bothering your sister!" Second warning,
but then again, I was nearing the third act and
who was I to stop when greatness was at hand? I
may not have heard them completely, either since
I was in stacatto mode anyway, opening and closing
my ears and making their own voice part of my music.
I probably heard only the barest fraction of their
command, which was nonsense but added to the full
effect and opened up the third act.
my brother and sisters point of view, my parents
were being ignored. They would take matters into
their own hands and begin to nudge me back.
it!" they'd moan. Oblivious to this, I would
continue in my efforts. I had my eyes closed, but
because of the thickness of my glasses, no one could
see that I was not looking at them or even that
my eyes were shut. Since I was not paying any attention,
they changed their tactics completely. "Mom!
Danny's ignoring me!"
this is the last time!" Of course, I never
even heard the first time. I was so oblivious in
my own world that I never felt the car stop. I did
feel someone grasp me by the shoulders, nudging
me. I opened my eyes to see my Mom's face fill my
vision. She was probably torn between yelling at
me to stop whatever I was doing or making sure that
I didn't swallow my tongue. I expelled a held breath
and calmly asked "What's going on?"
think the only thing that they could communicate
to me in those dire moments was "Don't scare
me like that!", despite the fact that we scared
each other with some success. I had been shaken
out of my fun with a face full of angry parent.
My mom was confronted with the sight of me looking
as if I was trying to shake all the fat off my body.
I had no idea that I must have been exhibiting dire
symptoms, probably resolved only through a lot of
complicated medical procedures. I was constantly
giving my parents the sensation that if I wasn't
in urgent need of medical attention that I soon
probably made them the most frustrated, though,
was the fact that they were unable to tell me why
this was such a bad thing. They could only ask me
to please not DO that any more. Aside from being
worrisome behavior, it just wasn't right for anyone
to act like that. Despite the fact that I was amusing
myself and keeping relatively quiet, it just wasn't
"normal". I'm sure I was to be discouraged
from acting any more bizarre than I actually was,
unless I had an actual medical emergency. I was
told to keep my eyes and ears open while in the
car so that I could be more aware of anything for
the future. Keeping my eyes and ears open left me
more available to bicker with my brother and sisters
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