She lifted her head at the sound of his voice. It had been years since she had heard that sound, but she recognized it instantly. It was the voice she had carried around inside her head when she was a child, before things had changed, back when she was still happy.
His voice was clear and shrill and earnest and as lovely as it had been to her young ears. She looked around for its source, hoping to see the face that had accompanied his voice and had crowded her mind all those years ago. Her small brown eyes searched for his bright blue ones. She couldn’t find them.
But his voice kept coming. She wished she could stretch open her ears and cram them full to the brim until every intonation, every note, every whisper and every yell spilled over to drip down her neck and cover her skin. She used to swim inside his voice as a child and now, 15 years later, she still wanted to sink down deep and lie at its very bottom.
His eyes were not coming, and so she closed hers. She focused on the sound and felt the soothing and the calm wash over. She was back in her girlhood bedroom, with the afternoon sun crawling in through the window. Her pen was on the paper, carefully writing out the words playing out from the stereo. She knew these words by heart, but she copied them down as though she didn’t. These words we’re all she had so far; it would be some time before she could form her own.
Here in this room of pink and stuffed animals and boys’ pictures on the walls and notebooks and notebooks and the radio constantly on she was happy. Here in this room she was still at peace simply because she did not yet see herself as the enemy. Here in this room, with his voice in her ears, she was still good.
His voice ended and she opened her eyes. He was gone and so was her room and so was the girl who had lived in it. He had come and gone years ago, and he had come and gone now. And so had she.
Song and title by The Smashing Pumpkins.
In honor of Billy Corgan’s birthday.
You can find the original version on the “Aeroplane Flies High” box set.