Email, yet not.
I have mentioned a number of times that I never met Nook in person all those years ago, nor did I ever hear her voice. Not a single voice-chat on Yahoo (wasn’t technically possible at the time) and we never even suggested a phone call between ourselves. Again, it wasn’t really appropriate at the time.
But that all changed on January 1st, 2010.
I received a simple email from Nook. It was sent from her iPhone. No Subject line, and one attachment. Memo.m4a. I clicked.
Three words which rocked my world...not for their content, but for the voice that made them.
“Happy New Year!”
That was it. The first time that I ever heard Nook’s voice. And the first word was “happy” -- somewhat symbolic considering how happy we have both been since finding each other again.
I melted. Her voice’s pitch and timbre were right at a sweet-spot for me that made a short circuit from my ears to the OOOOOOO part of my brain. In fact, I am pretty certain that my reaction was along those lines. My eyes opened up wide (my ears too) and I gasped. I said “oooooo!”...I played it back a dozen, two dozen times.
It’s difficult to describe my reaction fully. I suppose it was, to me, akin to a radio astronomer hearing an unexpected sound coming from the darkness. Something that wasn’t there a moment ago, but once present, changed everything. Everything.
Naturally, I returned the voice-memo favour (thank you Apple for that great built-in application on the iPhone) but I confess that I wasn’t quite as extemporaneous as perhaps Nook was. I cleared my throat many times, I practiced saying my words, I changed them, I worked on inflection, tone...why? I was so worried about making the right first vocal impression. I didn’t want Nook to think “ugh” upon hearing my voice for the first time. At this point in our reunion we were merely two friends who had been reconnecting and sharing life stories of our last decade -- yet for some reason I was very concerned about making the right impression. I suppose that says something about what I was really feeling.
After about ten minutes of deciding which version to send, I settled on one that I thought would work the best, and off it went.
I’ve not yet asked Nook what she thought, or felt, the first time she heard my voice. In fact, I’ve never told her the depth of my reaction -- but she reads our website and I’m sure she’ll see my words here.
Nook’s voice is truly vocal kryptonite to me. I can listen to her for hours. Soft, delicate, at the absolutely perfect pitch - it cuts right into my mind and heart. I hope she’ll let me listen to her for decades to come.