Inside My Eyelids (12)

It was one of those nights I didn’t want to sleep. “If I sleep, I know the dreams will be there.” In the process of avoiding sleep, I wound up in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at the me I saw there, hearing the words of an old song.

“A mirror, is a negative space with a frame,
And a place for your face
It reveals, what the rest of us see
It conceals, what you’d like it to be” (1)

When I closed my eyes, and shook my head to clear my thoughts, I heard the words an old friend, one who was lost to time, and to my past, had said to me. “Most people know. They know. And they will do anything to not have to think about it, to make it not real. Because, if it’s real.” They never finished the thought, instead, leaving me hanging, with no understanding of why people were how they were.

But those words echoed in my head that night. “Most people know.” And it combined with the words of that song. “I conceals, what you’d like it to be.”

I opened my eyes, and looked at the me in that mirror again, “Why?”

It was always the same question. My entire life was the same question. “Why?” As if the only thing that mattered, the only thing there was, was the question, and the search for an answer.

When I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror, at my eyes looking back at me, I wandered down the stairs to the kitchen. I didn’t turn on a light, but walked in the dark. I needed it to be dark. In the dark, the details went away. In the dark, no one could see me. In the dark, I knew I was free from the games of life. The pretenses that others made me, expected me, demanded me to wear.

In the dark, my facade faded, and I could be me.

And let my soul cry.

People had always told me, when you sit alone, in the dark, late at night, on the floor of the kitchen, something’s wrong with you, and you need to get help. Yet, there I was. On the floor, in the dark, trying not to think, not to feel, and maybe to not even breathe.

Until the ache in my soul faded just enough I could feel the fatigue in my body. It was time to face the dreams painted inside my eyelids for another night. To find some rest, however brief, to prepare for another day in a world where most people knew, but were too terrified of the truth of life, they forgot about it, or denied it was there.

My dreams did not disappoint me.

Mirrors appeared, hanging in air, nothing to hold them up, reflecting everything they faced. Reflecting the world, and the people I knew, the society I lived in. Rain and storms in one. Sunshine, blue skies, and wispy white clouds in another.

And that damn song echoed in my mind once more.

“A mirror, is a negative space with a frame,
And a place for your face
It reveals, what the rest of us see
It conceals, what you’d like it to be” (1)

That morning, I looked into the eyes in the mirror that looked back at me, and I knew. I finally knew. Everything in the mirror is two dimensional. It has no depth. There is only what you see. And I knew, suddenly, why, “Most people know. They know. And they will do anything to not have to think about it, to make it not real. Because, if it’s real…”

615 words

1 The song is “Mirrors” by Blue Oyster Cult.
Songwriters: Abbott / Roeser
Mirrors lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I wrote this for week 146 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.


Inside My Eyelids (11)

Each step I took, I heard the sound of my shoes striking the ground echo down the length of the stone hallway. It was a dark, damp hallway, and as I walked it, I could feel the weight of the stone above me. Solid, heavy rock, that threatened to crush the tiny hallway I was in, and thus crush me.

The hallways walls emitted a soft, faint light, just strong enough to see the world inside it in black and white, with no detail. Only the endless echo of my shoes on the cold stone floor as I walked along.

There was no way to know how long I’d been in that hallway, no way to measure its length, no way to reach its end, or its beginning. It remained the same, in both directions, endlessly. To walk it seemed pointless, and yet, something inside me, some feeling in my bones, told me to walk, and that if I walked long enough, I would find something.

Walk I did. I couldn’t remember when I started walking. I couldn’t remember how I got in that hallway. Had I always been there? Had I found my way to the place, and then gotten lost in its endless stone?

One step after another, I walked. I tried counting steps, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Eventually, I lost count. I started again, counting by blocks of ten steps, and grouping those into groups of ten, and those into groups of ten. I lost count again, after countless thousands.

“Perhaps this is a circle. A large circle, that barely turns to one side. Just enough that eventually, it comes back on itself. And I’m walking in a circle. Endlessly. Without knowing it.” My mind tried to explain the hallway. “It’s a circle, and I’m trapped to walk the same path, endlessly.”

When I found a light hanging on the left wall, I decided it wasn’t a circle. I’d never seen that light before. Another hundred steps, and I found another light. A third one at 50 steps. Then one at 25 steps. Then, three lights. Between the first two, hung on the wall, was an old, wooden shield. Painted blue, with white and black circles. In places the paint had worn away and revealed the wood beneath. The blade of a large knife hung by a chain on one side of the shield. Another weapon hung by a chain from the other side. I wasn’t familiar with it, having never seen anything like it.

Between the second and third lights was a door. One look told me it was ancient. A sign of the door read, “It is the demons who take life.”

Maybe, after walking that hallway for however long I had, I’d lost my mind, lost my ability to reason, or to understand written words. Because I opened that door, and stepped through it.

Into a room filled with weapons. Swords, knives, whips, bows and arrows, spears, pikes, axes. Every weapon I’d ever heard of, and what seemed like an endless array of weapons I’d never imagined existed. I couldn’t see the back of the room. It was like the hallway, unending.

Beside each weapon there was that same sign. “It is the demons who take life.”

I heard her voice, her words to me, from years ago, “The Devil and his minions can’t create life.”

Then my own words, “Neither can humans.”

Then, the thoughts of my mind, “But both can certainly take what they are given, and modify it, change it, adapt it, for their own purposes.”

That sign was beside every weapon in that endless room, “It is the demons who take life.”

And I opened my eyes, as I realized it was daylight, and time for me to get ready for another day at work. But, since that dream of that endless hallway, and that endless room filled with creations used to end life, I have never escaped the words of that sign, “It is the demons who take life.”

644 words

I wrote this for week 145 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.

Inside My Eyelids (10)

It had been a rough night, filled with tossing, and turning, and destroying the covers on the bed. Finally, I gave up, got up, made my pit stop, got some clothes on, and made my bed.

Then I went to brush my teeth, only to forget to brush them, and instead spend my time staring into the mirror, and wishing I could see anything but her. She was there, in the mirror, looking at me, just like she had in that dream, endlessly, all night. Asking that one question, over and over, “Why?”

“Why are you haunting me?” I put a hand on the mirror, right where her cheek would have been. “What’s wrong?”

I knew damn well what was wrong. I knew she was trapped in her home, not able to get out, and visit her friends. Not able to work. Not able to go to the library, which had been her favorite place. Not able to do anything she’d always done.

“You’re someone I have only seen one time. Why are you always in my dreams?” Because I wanted to be able to visit her. Spend time watching movies, or listening to music. Spend time eating chocolates, and drinking soda. Spend time. With her. And be her friend.

That’s why she was in my dreams. That’s why she asked why, endlessly.

I looked to God in heaven, and asked again, like I have countless times before, “Why can’t I help?”

242 Words

It’s Week 401 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

Inside My Eyelids (9)

It’s the dreams that happen after I have to wake up in the middle of the night, for whatever reason, and then go back to sleep, that are the the most colorful. And the most difficult for me to cope with.

Last night, I woke at three-thirty in the morning. I’m old. I wake up every morning to go pee. Last night was no exception. After my nightly trip, I pulled the covers back up, and waited for the heat to build back up, which always sends me back to sleep.

Back to the land of dreams.

I remember walking. The same streets I’d always walked, all through my neighborhood. A long walk this time, one that took over two hours. As I walked, I wondered, “Where are all the houses? Where are all the cars? The trees. The buildings. The signs. Everything was gone. Everything. There was nothing to either side of me, nothing ahead of me, nothing behind me. There were no clouds, not birds, no planes, not bugs, the sky was empty.

It had rained earlier, though, I could tell because of the puddles on the street, and the sidewalk. Puddles that worked like mirrors, and reflected the images of everything around them. Those puddles were more confusing than everything being missing, because they were filled with images of everything that had been there. Everything I always saw when I walked was still in those puddles.

But none of it was left anywhere.

I walked from puddle to puddle, examining each one, trying to figure out what I was seeing in each puddle. The one in front of where my home had been still had reflections of my crepe myrtle trees in it. I watched the image of the bottom of my car in the puddle as my invisible car drove across it. The water didn’t move, there were no splashes. It was like my care wasn’t there. Like I was watching a movie screen.

There was a puddle a few blocks from home, where I could still see the buildings that used to be beside the road, even though there was no sign anything had ever been beside the road. In that one, I watched a passenger jet fly through the puddle, while no jet was anywhere to be seen.

Except in the puddle.

Most interesting was how, as I walked, I saw myself in the reflections of the puddles. As if the puddles were saying to me, “We only reflect what’s actually there.” And yet, there was nothing there to reflect.

I decided to try finding one of the street signs I saw in a puddle. A stop sign, at the corner of a road. It was crystal clear in the puddle. I kept my eyes on the puddle, as I moved my reflection closer to the signs reflection. Until I could reach out, and place my reflections hand on the sign. Except, there was no sign. There was nothing.

I wound up back at the puddle before where my house had been. I walked back and forth, left and right, even in circles. Nothing. My house wasn’t there. There was no sign it had ever existed.

There was a song, long ago, where the singer sang,

“Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about”*

As I woke from my dream, I heard that song playing over and over again in my head, with some strange voice asking me, “What is real, and what is a dream, and how do you know?”

599 words

* The song is Strawberry Fields, by the Beatles.

Songwriters: J. Lennon / P. Mccartney
“Strawberry Fields Forever” lyrics © Sony/atv Tunes Llc, Sony, Sony Atv Tunes Llc, Sony Atv Music Publishing France, Sony/atv Tunes Llc Dba Atv Obo Atv (northern Songs Catalog), Wixen Music Publishing Inc Obo Harrisongs Ltd

I wrote this for week 144 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.


#LoveBites2020 : Trapped In An Elevator

It was Two in the morning, on February 14th. Valentine’s day. We’d been stuck in the elevator for almost an hour. An hour earlier, the floor had bounced, and we heard two loud pings, and the elevator came to a dead stop.

I’d used my cell phone to call building maintenance, but no one answered, and my call went to voicemail. She’d used her phone to post her status on Facebook, and Twitter, and to send messages to her friends. No one answered. No one texted back.

We were stuck. “I figure we’re stuck here until the maintenance crew gets here at five or so.” That didn’t make her happy, and I’m sure her being stuck in an elevator with someone who was probably older than her parents, wasn’t something she wanted.

At the one hour mark, I decided to sit down in the back corner of the tiny room we were trapped in, and see if I could take a nap.

She watched me like I was some kind of predator, waiting for her to pass out, after which there was no telling what I’d do.

“Well, since we’re stuck here,” I pulled out my phone, and put up a picture of my daughter. “This is my daughter. She’s 31, and married. Expecting a baby in a few months.”

The girl looked at my phone. I let her hold it. “She’s older than me.”

“Yeah. I thought she was.” I shrugged, and leaned my head against the wall. “I’m too old for a lot of things, you know.” After a big sigh. “A lot of things are for younger people.” I almost laughed, “Getting stuck in an elevator at stupid o’clock is exhausting. I need a nap.”

She sat down in the other back corner. “I could use a nap too.”

“I have a son, too. Want to see his picture?” She nodded. I brought the picture up on my phone. She looked, and smiled, “He’s kind of cute.”

“He’s not married yet. Think he has a boyfriend. But he doesn’t talk about it.”

She handed my phone back to me. “Are you married?”

“I was. She died early. Way too young.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

Since we were talking anyway, I asked, “You married?”

“No. And not in a hurry.”

“Can’t blame you there.” I shook my head, “Men these days. I’m telling you.”

She actually laughed about that.

“If you want a nap,” I tugged at the shoulder of my coat, “You are welcome to put this out on the floor. I mean. I wouldn’t sleep on this floor. Holy crap.”

We talked a bit, about families, and work. About cats, and dogs. Even about how no one would ever believe we got stuck in the elevator all night. Eventually, she did take me up on my coat offer, and stretched out on my coat, on the floor. I drifted off to sleep myself.

I woke up when the elevator floor bounced again. So did she. I was surprised to see she’d put her head in my lap. “I needed a pillow.”

“Well. At least I’m good for something.”

We heard two more pings from the elevator, and it finally started to move. It was five-fifteen in the morning. We staggered to our feet. Well. I staggered. She bounced right up. “Work is gonna suck today.”

She laughed, “I know what you mean.”

“Nine for me. You?”


“At least you get to take a good nap.”

“I got a good nap. You make a good pillow.”

As we got off the elevator, finally, she tapped me on the shoulder. “For what it’s worth. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather get stuck in an elevator with.”

“You make a good person to talk with.”

“Happy Valentine’s day, old timer.” She gave me a hug.

“Happy Valentine’s day.”

640 Words

My attempt at writing a story for the #LoveBites2020 Blog Hop. Tried something different this year. Hope it’s acceptable.

Please, go read all the other entries for the Blog Hop.

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Inside My Eyelids (8)

I walked along the sidewalk, beside all the different houses of my neighborhood. Was I dreaming? I don’t know. I could feel the breeze, hear the cars on the main road outside my neighborhood, see the clouds in the sky move over time, watch birds fly from place to place.

I wondered if it really mattered if it was a dream or if it was real. I wondered if there was a difference between dreams, and reality.

As if the universe sensed my thoughts, it sent me on a walk through a forest, beside a small river, in the mountains somewhere. That told me I was dreaming, or at least convinced me I was.

Lacking anything else to do, I wandered along the trail I was on, through the trees, beside the river, realizing I couldn’t hear anything. No leaves rustling in the breeze. My feet on the ground as I walked. My breathing. No birds, no squirrels, nothing. No sound at all.

Until I came across a door frame the trail passed through. I looked around. It was a door frame, made of short sections of tree branches, cut to similar lengths, and put together to make a frame. There were vines and branches growing along its exterior, some reaching out a couple of feet from the frame, as if to tangle with the trees, to form a wall, and anchor the frame in place.

A short little man, maybe three feet tall popped out of the trees, next to the frame, “You asked about reality and dreams, I do believe.”

For some reason I nodded yes at him, “Am I dreaming? Or is this real?”

“What are dreams, and what is real? And are the two the same for everyone, or are the different for each person?” The little man smiled. “Do you see a door?”

“No. Only a frame.”

“Can you walk around it? Or through it?”


“Is the trail on the other side the same? Is the air the same? Are the same trees on both sides of the door?”

“Obviously. It’s a frame, standing in empty space, nothing more. No walls. No buildings. A doorway that leads nowhere.”

The little man laughed. “Like all doorways, isn’t it?” He shook his head. “And if I put a door in the frame?” He waved his hand, and a door appeared. “Does that make what’s on this side different from what’s on the other side?”

“No. I can still go around.”

“What if I add a wall?” A walk appeared on either side of the door, that stretched as far as I could see in both directions. “And make it too tall to climb.” The wall reached to the sky. I could not see it’s top.

“It’s a barrier. It separates this place into two places.”

The little man laughed. “And yet, the path continues as before, doesn’t it. And the air remains the same. And the trees are still the trees.” The door opened, “Go on through. Pass from this world to the next, if you wish.”

I walked through the opened doorway.

The little man followed me. “I don’t see anything different. Do you?”


We both looked back at the doorway, and the wall. “And yet, you have said this is a different place. A separate place.”

The little man shook his head. He frowned at me. “So limited. So sad.” And he was gone. So was the wall, and the door. Only the frame remained.

It took time, but as I walked along the trail, by the small river, I wondered what a symbol was, and if a doorway was a symbol. Like a line on the sand. Or perhaps, like the houses of my neighborhood, where I was walking once again.

Now, I find myself asking why attach so many rules to symbols, to things that aren’t real, and really only separate us from each other. Like the lines on a map. Or the fences between yards. Or perhaps our colors, religions, and politics.

Now, I wonder, do our symbols bring order? Or do they bring chaos? Do they bring peace? Or do they bring war? And do we even know they are only symbols.

Like that doorway, on that trail. A symbol. And nothing more.

714 Words

I wrote this for week 143 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.

Inside My Eyelids (7)

Sometimes, the dreams happen with my eyes wide open, and the sun shining outside. Even then, I still see them, every time I blink, every time I pause, and close my eyes. One keeps repeating, endlessly.

Someone I know. Someone I have only seen one time. I wrote a message to her once, “If you ever ask for my help, I’ll find a way.”

I haven’t spoken to her in years now. She’s gone. A classic falling out, politics, and religion, and all that crap that turns people into enemies, and drives friends apart. Yet, there she is, in that dream.

“You left, you know. It was you, not me.” Those blue eyes, drilled right through me.

“I didn’t leave you. I left your friends. Your environment.” Always, I tried to explain, even though I knew no one had ever understood.

“You told me you would find a way, if I ever asked for help.”

“I meant it then. I mean it now.” Somehow, I knew she would never ask. I knew she couldn’t understand. “If you were to ask, do you think I’ll say no?”

“Yes.” Those blue eyes were gone. I’d never see them again.

Regret? Maybe. Past mistakes? Of course. Fixable? Never. And that damn dream kept reminding me of that truth. And when the dream ended, there I was, like always, asking God to let me die. Knowing damn well it wasn’t my time. And that dream would happen. Again. Endlessly.

245 Words

It’s Week 400 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

Inside My Eyelids (6)

Another night, another dream I wish I didn’t have. Another dream I’d had a thousand nights, in a thousand different ways. Bobby and Julie were holding hands, walking through the museum. I don’t know where it was, or what museum, only that it was a museum.

“Really weird art show, isn’t it?” Bobby waved his free hand at the paintings along the wall.

“Yep. Weird.” Julia kept pulling him from one painting, or one sculpture to another. Endlessly.

It took a while, but somewhere along the way, amid all the paintings, and statues, and abstract displays of spheres floating through rectangles inside of snow storms, and all the rest, they came across a statue not like the rest.

Julia tapped Bobby on the shoulder, “Dude, look at that one.”

“Wow.” They approached the display slowly. “Guy looks just like him, doesn’t it.”

“Yep. Just like him.” Julia drug Bobby around the display of a statue that looked strikingly like me. Why it was there, I don’t know. Why anyone would make a statue of me, I don’t know.

“Look at that.” From the front, it looked like me, but, as they moved to either side of it, the statue turned into an empty mold, with ragged edges along the back, and nothing inside it. “It’s like a shell. A prop.” They read the description of the artwork displayed on a stand next to it.

“The Facade. An illustration of what the world perceives us to be, and the reality that what the world sees is not real at all, rather it is only an image. A mask. A facade.”

Julia shook her head, “Looks just like him, doesn’t it.”

For some strange reason, I always woke up when the dream reached that part. Damn thing drove me nuts for decades, until I figured it out one day, at work. I wish I could forget that day, but know I never will. That was the day I told her, at work, the truth.

“It’s all a game, you know.”

“No. This is not a game. This is real life.” I remember the light in her eyes. There had been flashes of fear, and of concern in that light. As if I was speaking of a secret no one dared speak of.

“It’s got a set of rules. A specific behavior to follow. Ways to make bonus points. Ways to get penalized.” I’d made a point to look straight into those eyes, even knowing how dangerous it was for me to do that, knowing those eyes tore my own facade down, and left me standing there, unprotected, revealed, in broad daylight. “It’s a game. One everyone plays.”

That statue in that dream, that facade. That had been me. That had been what the world saw of me. Something artificial. A character in a story, an actor playing a part in a game. The things everyone knew about me, the person they all worked with, talked with, every day, wasn’t real.

It wasn’t me.

It was a facade. One I’d made, crafted carefully, over time, to be what I needed to be, in that environment, to make everyone shut up, and leave me alone. So they never got angry with me. Never fought with me. Never learned who I was. So I was always safe from them.

Until I looked in those eyes one day, and that facade started to crumble. Because. I found I could not lie to those eyes.

578 Words

I wrote this for week 142 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.

Inside My Eyelids (5)

She was, I think, the last friend I had in that church. She was, I know, the last reason I had to be there.

It was in that place where everything went as wrong, and as badly, as it possibly could have gone. It was in that place where I learned to pray to God in Heaven, as I looked to the stars in the night sky, “Father, let me die. Let me die, please. And set me free from this hell.”

I remember so many stories. The time the church’s youth director spoke with me, as we watched the water tumble over rocks, and swirl around tree roots, and branches, by a mountain stream, on a Saturday night in August, with the stars hidden from view by the trees. The only sounds being our words, and the words spoken by the stream.

“There’s something wrong with you, isn’t there.” It was a statement, not a question. I knew that when she spoke the words. Words that echoed in my soul. “There’s something wrong with you, isn’t there.”

How do you answer when someone says those words to you? Defiance? Anger? Rage? How about when they say those words, and you know, beyond doubt, that you are not like everyone else. That somehow, some way, that you can’t understand, you’re different.

I was different. And I knew it. As I knew that being different was the absolute definition of there being something wrong. I was different. That meant there was something wrong with me.

“Yes. But I don’t know what. And I don’t know how to fix it.”

There are so many stories. The time the church pastor spoke with me, “You need to stay where you are in the sanctuary. Not come forward. You’re already right with God. If something in the service speaks to you, be thankful. But stay where you are.”

That was the day the lights in the building went out. The glow of hope. The sense that maybe, perhaps, with luck, and God’s guidance, and will, I could figure out what was wrong with me. With those words, from the leader of the church, that was gone.

I watched, on Sundays, as people walked into the sanctuary, smiling, hopeful. It was like the inside of the building lit up, that light shining through the windows, leaking to the outside world. Except, I was not welcome to be part of that light.

That light avoided me.

So many stories, and yet, they’re all the same. The time the youth went on one last retreat, one last trip, for the memories, I suppose. When they had me, a 19 year old college student, lead the car train to the resort. It was the first time, the only time, we got there on time. With no incidents. With no problems.

How, on that trip, the same youth directory who told me there was something wrong with me had trouble with her footing, climbing down a steep hillside coming back from the mountain swimming hold we all went to. And no one saw that, but me. And no one was beside her, to help her, to catch her if she slipped, but me. And no one noticed at all when we got to the bottom of that hill, and she smiled at me, “Still the same good old guy, aren’t you.”

The same good old guy who dreamed of driving his car, at full speed, through the front door of the church one day, in a desperate effort to escape the bleeding of my soul, only to stand in the rubble, laughing, as God found yet another way to keep me alive, and prolong my agony.

I stopped going to that church. Except for Sunday morning classes, before the service. She was there. I couldn’t let her be wounded as I had. I told God, I didn’t ask, I told him. “I’ll be here. In this place. As long as she is. To do what I can to keep her safe.”

And I left the day she did.

That was the day the light shining from the church, a light I could never be a part of, a light not meant for me, turned orange, and red. The color of flickering flames.

I never returned to that place.

718 Words

I wrote this for week 141 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.

Fixing Windows 10 Sound Problems (Extreme Solution)

If sound goes strange, or stops working, in Windows 10, and you are willing to try just about anything to fix it, you can try the instructions below. Please note. These instructions do not fix all Windows 10 sound problems. Also note. These instructions could result in you having to do a clean reinstall of Windows 10 on your computer.

It is with the understanding that these instructions are risky, and not guaranteed to work, that I provide them here.

Step 1 : Press the Windows key, hold it down, and press the I key to bring up the Settings Window, as illustrated here:


Step 2 : Click on the Apps button to bring up the Apps & features Window, as illustrated here:


Step 3 : Find the Sound Application and Drivers. This is usually named similarly to:

Realtek Audio Driver
Realtek High Definition Audio Driver
Conexant Audio Driver

When you have located the sound application, click on it. It will display the version of the application, and options to Modify or Uninstall the application, similar to the following:

Step 4 : Uninstall the Sound application. Click on the Uninstall button, and do what it says. When it has completed the uninstall process, restart you computer by holding down the Windows key, and pressing the X key, then letting go of the Windows key, and pressing the U key, then the R key. Count to 1 between pressing keys to be safe.

NOTE: If there is no sound package available, you can skip this step.

Step 5 : After the computer has rebooted, and is usable again, hold down the Windows key, and press the X key, then let go of both keys, and press the M key. This brings up the Device Manager window, as illustrated below.

Step 6 : Click on the Sound devices item in the Device Manager window to display a list of sound devices on your computer, similar to the following.


Step 7 : Right click on the sound device (In this case, Realtek High Definition Audio, but for your computer it may be Realtek Audio, or Conexant Audio, or something similar) to bring up a menu of options for actions to take, as illustrated here.


Step 8 : Select the Uninstall device option. This will display an Uninstall Device window similar to the following.


If the Uninstall Device window has a checkbox that reads Delete the driver software for this device, check the box, and press the Uninstall button, similar to the following.


Step 9 : Restart the computer. At this point, Windows 10 will install a default sound driver for the sound system of your computer. It may make you wait a bit while it reboots, and it may boot to the Windows Recovery Environment. If it boots to the Recovery Environment, restart the computer again.

Sound on your computer should work at this point. If you are happy with sound as it works at this point, you’re done, sound is working, and you don’t have the problems you did earlier.

If you want to use the sound application from the computer manufacturer, you can download that application from the manufacturer (such as Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, ASUS, Samsung, or Dell), and then install that application using the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

What this process does is uninstall the sound system on your computer, force the computer to reload the sound system when it starts up, thus resetting all the sound settings in the Windows registry, and forcing Windows to use a known good sound driver.

If this works for you, good.

If your computer blows up when you do this, remember, I did warn you it could do so before you tried this.