"SHUT UP!" The deep voice, for which I'd been ridiculed as a teen, tore through the building in the form of a guttural roar. The neighbours who had been irritating me for months immediately fell silent. I sat silently too, shocked by the power in that voice - MY voice.
I'd been carrying a lot of things around with me, for a number of months. The neighbours were just one part of the problem, helped in no small part by a landlady who had decided that soundproofing was an unnecessary expense. Too many other things had also happened to reinforce a suspicion I'd held since childhood that I could trust no one, that people would always let me down, and that no one actually cared how I felt.
You're probably thinking my neighbours didn't deserve to get all of that stored anger but, believe me, they had been banging around, arguing and generally provoking my anger all day, and I'd been deprived of sleep by way of them banging randomly at 2, 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning for weeks.
I'm usually quietly spoken. A voice with such a concentration of bass frequencies can sound quite forceful at even low volumes. Ramped up to the point where it had the full power of my lungs behind it, it felt and sounded so very, very powerful, and more than a little intimidating. Did it feel good? Absolutely! People had been pushing me around, treating me with no respect and generally messing with me for a long time, and I'd let them get away with it!
I thought about what I'd heard, how powerful that voice had sounded, and questioned where it had come from. My behaviour towards others, the calm acceptance of things which I should not have to tolerate, suggested someone weak, powerless and beaten down by life. The roar which reverberated around the building suggested something else entirely.
It felt good to let go of all that anger.