Janice had an unusual and embarrassing problem. It was the main reason she was still single. It had also lost her quite a few friends. Not to mention causing disastrous job interviews. She would be having a normal conversation. Everything would be going well, when without any prior warning she would burst into song. And not just any songs, powerful operatic renditions of her most private thoughts. You know these thoughts, we all have them. Chatting to someone at a party while thinking “that really is some awful dandruff that you have there.” There’s no controlling these thoughts and there was no way that Janice could stop her operatic outbursts.
She had tried every kind of therapy going. Her doctors had diagnosed a rare form of Tourettes. And Janice had loudly sung her opinion of his unattractive children, whose picture decorated the desk. Then he had glared at her, saying “There’s nothing to be done.” She had stopped voice training long ago. But her voice remembered how to resonate and reach those high notes. She longed for one of those twitchy forms of tourettes that so many people in her group therapy had. Or even one of the shouty curse-word ones. That would be bad of course but somehow it would be more forgivable. If you felt compulsed to shout “bitch” people mightn’t get as offended, she thought. Singing about their skin conditions and nasally voices was different. People really didn’t like that.
She stayed in a lot, didn’t socialize. Had exactly two friends whom she very rarely saw. Something had to change. So she adopted this dog she saw in the Animal Society Window. And then she started volunteering in the center. The dogs and cats seemed to respond well to the singing. They weren’t very easily offended. The other staff were used to peculiar people working there. Not a single eyelid was batted at her presence. It was amazing.
The dog, Henry, was a scruffy little terrier, black and white. One day in the park, she was walking along on the path. Stopping every few minutes to let Henry douse a tree in urine. A man was walking along on the path, coming towards her. She looked at him, looking in his eyes. The attraction between them was so strong that the sun seemed to shine brighter. She had time to sing “I love you, whoever you are” before she collapsed in a dead faint. And he replied in a deep bass vibrato “I love you too! Most beautiful stranger” before he too fainted in a heap on the ground.