Life can be so cruel.
There I was, enjoying a rare moment of having the house to myself. In the course of making dinner (in the form of what, by any measure can only be described as a truly fantastic Lamb stew) I decided that since I had only the dog to offend, I would play some of my favourite music from my childhood and youth. Making sure that all the windows and doors were closed in order to both prevent calls to the emergency services (principally the ambulance) and the accidental activation of any nearby car alarms, into the venerable CD-player I slid my album of The Electric Light Orchestra's 'Out of the Blue'. I know, I should have played it on vinyl, but I'd have had to set up the turntable, and anyway I didn't fancy having to stop what I was doing every twenty-odd minutes to turn the record over (even though the very end of side three urges me to do just that in a synthesized voice). With age comes wisdom, you see...
Volume cranked up to forty five: check.
Play button pushed: check.
Nothing happens: check.
Some swearing and squinting at the bloody machine: check.
Eject CD: check.
Insert CD, press play again: check.
SUCCESS! 'Turn to Stone' begins to fill the room/house/neighbourhood.
"The city streets are empty now..." etc., filled the air. With that, I was away, the lyrics flooding back into my RAM and available for instant access, as if I was back in my parent's dining room almost thirty years ago, singing my little heart out to the very first album that I had ever purchased (and which involved a twelve mile round trip on my trusty bicycle), and which catapulted me into the category (or so I felt) of 'music lover' and all-round cool person.
Lustily (oh yes, I can still summon up a bit of lustiness if I try hard enough) I launched into the songs, one by one. With one, increasingly disappointing difference. Time, it seems, has not only wreaked its terrible revenge upon my once cherub-like countenance (I'm lying: I was never cherubic), but also caused mayhem among my vocal chords.
It's an undeniable fact that the high notes are now, sadly, utterly beyond me. Having forgotten everything that the decidedly strange Mr. 'Minim' Brown ever taught me about musical notation, I couldn't tell you exactly which notes I can no longer hit, except to say that there are a lot of them.
Bugger. Yet another manifestation of getting older to remind me that I have fewer years ahead of me than behind me. It's all a bit much really - I mean I have the daily reminders of snatched glances (that's all I can tolerate) in the mirror, my increasing difficulty getting into or out of chairs, the strange noises I make when doing both of these things, my evening naps and the seemingly unstoppable effect of gravity upon everything with the capability to sag - I already have all of these things going on. Now, my voice?
It's just not fair, and I am going to devote the next little while trying to find out who I complain to, and demand my money back from.