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How I Quieted The Voice Of Doubt In My Head By Listening To A 24-Hour-Long Video Of Blues Dog

From “You’ll never be published in McSweeney’s” to “AWOOO”

Images by Charlotte May and Amal Santhosh from Pexels

“Thank you for sending this in, but we aren’t going to publish it.”

“It’s going to be a ‘no’ from me, dawg.”

“LOL. Bitch, you wish.”

After receiving a healthy number of rejection letters from editors, the voice of doubt in my head was becoming uncomfortably loud. It was shrill and constant. My days and nights blended into one long period of suffering. That all changed when I stumbled upon a 24-hour-long video of a dog singing the blues on YouTube.

The clip is pure, vertically-filmed art. It presents a tan dog vocalizing to a simple blues line played live on saxophone. He sings for 19 seconds, and then the video loops the clip for another 23 hours and 41 seconds. Stunning.

His tone is velvety, and his pitch — pristine. His gentle vibrato immediately drowned out the voice of doubt that had been tormenting me for months. I knew I was going to be okay.

Armed with the soothing sounds of “Blues Dog,” I am finally able to write again. The only problem is that I must constantly be listening to his melancholy song or I spiral back into debilitating insecurity. So I keep my device charged at all times.

I listen to “Blues Dog” at work. I can’t hear anything my boss says, and HR emailed saying that they need to meet with me on Monday.

I listen to “Blues Dog” during sex. My partner got tangled up in my headphone cords and then handed me a pamphlet for couples therapy.

I listened to “Blues Dog” during my great uncle’s funeral. Everyone cried even harder when my phone accidentally connected to the Bluetooth speakers during the “Celebration of Life” slideshow. I was like, “I know. This dog can sang.”

I don’t know who “Blues Dog” is, but I hope he releases another single in the future — a cover of “Midnight In Harlem” would bring me to my knees. I do know that he saved my life. The nagging voice of doubt that ravaged my sanity has finally been defeated by that dog’s soulful howl. Awoo, indeed.

That’s a real good boy.

Anyway, it’s time to check my inbox. It looks like an editor responded to my submission.

“Dear writer,

Thank you for the read. Unfortunately — ”

I press the “Volume Up” button on my phone several times. I’m fine. Perfectly, 100 percent FINE.


Originally published in Lady Pieces.


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