Saturday, February 4, 2012


Time for a "scary" story from my Fiction class ...

     A woman leaves the Surf and Turf and rounds the corner onto a now wet, deserted street, the moon absent from the void black sky. No-one should be out this time of night. The night hadn’t gone well, with another and last argument with that now, thankfully, exboyfriend. In the distance, the sound of traffic looms, as the city never sleeps. She starts her way alone along the stained concrete, of urban sprawls whose dwellers sleeps in multicolored quilts or a lover's fold; minds imaginably filled with easy, pleasant dreams. She looks up at a flickering streetlight, lights a cigarette and curses, smoke whisking behind her in the breeze, jacket collar pulled high, head low. The orange glow of the streetlights was reflected by shards of glass and puddles of water.
  There was a giggle from a girl and slam from the door and that was that, more stillness. The welcoming party ahead of her consists of a traffic-free street, adorned with burnt out butts, drenched newspapers and empty packets of cigarettes. The rain, as if to remind her of its presence, grows more intense for a second or two, then lingers in a mist. Now she just wanted to get home quickly before it’d rain further. The weather sure knew how to makes things depressing all the more. ‘Rain in January when it was supposed to snow? Where is the snow and ice, the white and diamonds that bend the light in all shades, bringing some life to the dirty muddy roads and melancholic grey trees?’

     She was cold, her lips pressed together; she resumed walking the darkened streets towards home. Almost immediately she hears the tap, tap, tapping of someone walking behind her. ‘Time to be cool’ … she picks up her pace. Tap Tap Tap. ‘Damn, they are speeding up!’ She sees a cab across the street about a block ahead and begins to cross towards it, trying to appear calm and composed. Suddenly she thinks better of it and stops, returning to her side of the street. She has heard things about pretty young women in cabs at night. Best to walk it. She continues on, but the tapping is closer now. TAP TAP TAP. She doesn’t want to run, never show panic, that’s what she learnt. But inside panic is building … quickly. She keeps her eyes open for a lit window, any house will do, just want safety. With a sigh of relief she finds one, but it is still quite far away. She speeds up again, hoping that whoever is following won’t notice. But they do! TAP TAP TAP! That’s it! Had enough! She begins to run, looking cool be damned! Closer and closer to that door. But they are running too! Taptaptaptap. Trying to go as fast as she can, but they are catching up! TapTapTapTap. Reaching the steps of the house, stumbling slightly, she reaches for the door. But then, a hand grabs her shoulder. She spins around and …

     … Finds herself looking into a pair of friendly brown eyes. It’s one of the bartenders from the club. He smiles, “No-one’s out to get you, you left your purse at the bar Miss, I followed you to give it back.”

     She almost falls to the porch in relief but he holds her up. She manages to whisper, “Thanks.” 

     The barman chuckles softly, “Sorry, if I scared you. You sure that you don’t want that cab?” After she nods her pretty head no he waves, “Have a good night, be safe.” He walks off in the opposite direction and she is alone again.

     Taking a moment to unwind, she continues to walk down the street. She hears the bells from the Holy Cross Catholic Church toll three; it is quite late into the night. The moonless sky overhead coupled with the subtle whistling of the wind sends chills down her spine. Plip Plip. Quickly swiveling her head, she frantically glanced around until she found the source; a leaky gutter, spilling droplets of rain water. Plip Plip. There’s a long sinister alleyway, shadowy and menacing, with its single source of light coming from a sickly amber light over a doorway, which causes her to quicken her step. Every once in a while she’d hear what sounded like a footstep behind her, but she knew that No-one in their right mind would be out this late at night, and that the depressing atmosphere was getting the better part of her imagination. The streets seem darker tonight, and the sounds seemed clearer. ‘It must be the cloudy, rainy skies,’ she figures …

     She grew more tired with every step, but there are only a few blocks to go before she’ll arrive at her cozy little apartment. She stopped to tie her shoelaces under the peculiar Willie’s Deli streetlight. Tonight the light decided to be on and it seemed to be smirking at her. Such a joker, it never seemed to care what anyone thought of it, and thus it could decide to take the night off and decide not to shine. Whenever I was reported broken it shone as brightly as ever, like nothing was wrong. It must get huge kicks out of it, she couldn’t think of any other reason for such behavior. Well, other than just to piss people off. You never know …

     She crossed the road and came to the entrance to the city park, which was so dark it made the street look as bright as day, as it seemed to suck all of the light from the area. She could not even make out the lights on the opposite side of the park. She nearly walked past the entrance, but stopped to ponder a moment. She knew that if she cut through the park she would save a few minutes from the trek, then again she was hesitant to enter. Her mother always had told her not to walk alone at night, telling her about grisly murders, always about the pretty young lady out on her own. ‘Why would anyone be in the park this late at night?’ ‘No-one,’ she answers herself. She mused a moment longer, she’s crossed it hundreds of times before, and then let out an uneasy laugh. Once more she was letting her imagination get the best of her. At last she reckoned that an extra fifteen minute walk, as she was dog-tired, did not warrant her to walk around the perimeter. She cautiously stepped into the entrance, taking a last drag off her cigarette and discarded the butt on the cobblestone walkway.

     She stopped for a moment as though to capture some of the crooked light before going into the darkness. Home is not far away, yet this spot has always creeped her for some reason. She set off further into the park, but couldn’t help but to think that on this night it seemed oddly unfamiliar. A few more yards in she turned her head around to see he park entrance, seemingly the only beacon of light in the void black park, and then continued on her way. The trees above were glistening, wet and bare, which contrasted with the thankfully, now seemingly, not-so-dark-sky. She could make out the silhouettes of the gnarled tree limbs moving in the wind, which seemed to have picked up a bit. A burnt out light in the parking lot stood like gallows in the shadows, she wonders why they never fix it.

     There it was again, the tapping sound on the stone, but then it stopped. Tap. Her heart sank, and the dread builds as the seconds tick by. “Let me be wrong.” A Northern Mockingbird takes flight. She now nervously smiled, “Just my imagination,” she whispered to herself. The entrance to the park was now well behind her, there was no going back. A flickering lamp came into view up ahead illuminating a bench, she pressed on. The tapping noise would start and subside at random intervals; she tried to imagine them as tree branches colliding in the wind, although she knew in her minds-eye that it was not. Nearing the bench, there seemed to be a sense of salvation, almost as though the light would keep her nightmares at bay. Perhaps it was foolish … Nevertheless she did not care. When she got to the light she found that she was short of breath, noticing how hasty she had been, her legs began to ache with fatigue. She reached into her pocket for her Marlboro’s, only to realize it was empty, she crumpled her pack and tossed it indignantly towards an open trash can. As her heavy breathing stopped, she tried once more to rationalize. The tapping was mute; her ears were playing tricks on her. Nothing more.

     The damp, porous, wooden bench under her creaked, as though it felt to be called to bring her to terms. She knew what it wanted to say. She should go, because it was senseless to wait for something, which would never happen. After resting a minute or two, she turned and started on her way. But there it was again, the tapping on stone. Her mind ran wild picturing night prowlers, drug addicts, vampires and monsters of every kind rushing after her in the darkness. Ha! Later she’d lie in her comfy warm bed and laugh about what a silly unaware child she had been. In the distance the old Holy Cross Catholic Church sounded once more –one chime- three-thirty.

     She continued on the long winding path, trying to ignore the sounds at her back when … Was that an animal? A quick but smooth movement caught her eye in her periphery. Must have been, No-one is out in the park this time of night. Without hesitation she quickened her step and moved on. The sound was more consistent now. Tap, tap, tap, and tap, each time sounding closer and closer together. Her heart begins pounding like thunder; she began to vigorously grind her teeth as she attempted to move even faster. The shadows danced at her back, heckling her futile attempt to escape their cold dark embrace.

     Even at the end of her wits, and while her legs burned as if on fire, her feet numb, she thought over and over in her head: ‘No-one would be out at this time of night’, ‘No-one would be in a dark park at half past three in the morning,’ ‘No-one would be out at this hour.’ The shadows seemed to wrap around her from behind, closing its grip around her throat. She opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out.  She tried and tried to cry out but still no sound came. Thump, thump, thump. Her feet moved at a mile a minute, her mind raced even faster, but she seemed to go no-where. She tried yet again to let out a shrill scream for help, for mercy. But all that escaped was a small amount of air and a bit of saliva. Her feet thrashed, looking for ground, no-where to be found. She gasped for air, her throat would not allow. She felt a sharp pain at her side, and again, and again, and once more. The pressure from her throat ceased, but her cries for help revealed only a hoarse whisper as she stared up into the darkness trying in vain to see anything.

      The now sure-to-be footsteps confidently dwindled away into the darkness. Now another sound joined the gnarled tree limbs moving in the wind, a pair of lips whistling “Silent Night,” tantalizing her. As it died away into the dimness of her fading conscience, her mind replayed over and over. ‘No-one walks the park this time of night.’ ‘No-one is out in the dark at three-thirty in the morning.’

     She was quite right. No-one in fact was out in the night, and now only No-one knows where the pretty girl was, so late that January night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

... And Sing To Me

In fiction class we were to choose a season and write a story with it in mind. Here is what came of it ...

… And Sing To Me

“There is magic in the hearts of people, a magic by the name of hope and compassion. And in the darkest moments, this magic is the only light we have.”
                                         ~Author Unknown So Far

     In dreams, wild untamed thoughts can take wing and soar into the depths of the imagination, creating mysterious worlds where the lines between the real and the unreal are often obscured. Truths and fictions weave as one thread to create luminous memories. The ancient Celts were said to believe that there are thin places that not only transcend the senses, but transcend the boundaries of time and space. It is a realm of infinite possibilities. Who is to say they are mistaken? Fantasy is like thousands of flickering candle flames set in the dark like stars. Most of the flames were unremarkable; they sputtered and were swallowed by the darkness in quick succession. But every so often there would be a flame that was so full of magic that burns brighter than the rest. The darkness retreated from its terrible glow, and the flames around it burned all the brighter. And even if the bright flame dies out, oh how brightly it burned! This is how it began …
     The scent of pine trees fills the air. On an icy evening in December, snow fell from the sky and caressed the earth with a glow that seemed to come from angels. There are no other people for miles around, and the forest lays silent except for the soft sound of a gentle wind caressing the trees. It whispered melodies in a language to ancient to fully understand. If you close your eyes you can drift away from the industry and hardships of modern life and return to a simpler primal time, a time when we were one with the boundless forest. Leafless trees trembled and concealed sparrows arose with circling beauty.
     Eli was cold. Terribly cold. Breath steams the air as his feet crunch on the ground. He stopped and looked at his red and numb hands as he raised them toward his face. Skin seemed to flake from shaking fingers before they were shoved deep into jacket pockets. He wrapped his narrow fingers tightly around a cracked compass, his last remaining tether to a recognizable world.
     A cool breeze gently brushed across his reddening face. Eli couldn’t bring to mind much of this time outside the forest well enough to say what exactly he was thinking about. “Why was I out here at all?” But with or without knowing the reason, there he was at the mouth of the forest. He stopped moving and looked up to the grey sky; it had started to snow again, sending zillions of crystalline flakes down to Earth. With each gust of wind the trees danced in tune with the breeze. It seemed as though the trees and the forest itself was breathing.
     Whether it was that or something else, Eli was drawn into the woods.
     The forest pulled him in.

     Eli awoke to a feeling that could only relate to vertigo. He felt lost. Fear was there, of that he was certain, but it took an immediate backseat to his own captivation and reckless infatuation with the world around him. His eyes were open; being sure they would not close again.
     He arose from a stone table which was standing alone in the heart of the woods. It was in a pleasant clearing. Not too large; nor too small, and the surrounding trees were a pleasant and greenish green under their snowy veneer. Turning around it was surprising to notice that the table had no snow on the top of it. Now seeing that at any other time would have mystified a man. But, at that moment, there seem to be so many other imperative things other than a stone block that collected no snow on a winter’s morn.
     Curiosity overtook everything that morning.
     Looking back, Eli realized that with the inexplicable he really should have been anxious. Using logic, one waking up in a strange place, with no understanding of how he got there, would be troubled, if not outright frightened. To a logical person, in a logical situation, this could truly be terrifying!
     Curiosity overtook logic that morning.
     Eli became intoxicated with the dreamlike beauty of the forest. The perfect white of the snow, the nakedness of the frozen trees, the eternal rhythm of death and rebirth, the beautiful innocence of nature encircled him. He softly exhaled and dropped to his knees in the fresh, soft white powder. He dug his hands into the snow playfully and lifted up two handfuls, then slowly let it drop to its original spot. Watching the spot for a few moments, then lifting his head, scanning with his deep indigo eyes what lay in store around him. However, there was nothing … Nothing but the miles of crystalline snow and his footprints behind him. Eli turned his head toward the sounds of animals in the distance, trying to stay warm on this crisp morning. And that was when he realized that he was not cold whatsoever. He couldn’t help but notice that while inspecting his hands, which were once raw and red, they were now simply his hands.
     And unexpectedly, a different thought crashed into his mind: It just might not have been the next morning at all. It’s possible it could have been days - weeks – later. You know, a rational mind considers the possibility of these things. And it’s a rational mind that comes to fear them, after which it’s the rational mind that dismisses them out of hand.
     Curiosity overtook rationality that morning.
     Eli ambled over to the stone table, running his hands over the reflective slate. His gaze wandered through the snow covered everything. A gentle breeze swept snow from the canopy in a powdery cascade. With lifted arms, he felt alive with the forest. Closing his eyes, it was felt within. He inhaled deep, deeper than ever before. There was this feeling of being one with the woods which was enticing his spirit. Memories were an anthology of lives he'd never lived. He was a writer, a singer, a painter, a pianist, an architect, a doctor, a teacher, an engineer.  Eli had seen everything and nothing, and so now he needed to travel, to see everything again or for the first time. This was the day, the hour, and the minute he would start looking at and beyond everything that enveloped him. Losing him, losing reality, losing everything …
     Something was heard in the far-off distance and that something brought him back. Standing completely still, there came the recognition that it was a voice. A woman’s voice; by far the most beautiful thing that he had ever heard. The notes were soft at first but slowly rose. The ring was like ivory bells - not silver. Silver? Too common; anyone can have a silver voice. No, hers was carved of ivory, incandescently glowing. Creamy bone freckled with drops of shining beauty. Eli listened to it and was captivated. A last he opened his eyes and mused, not the origin, but the sound. The sound of it alone made him forget his station in the clearing. It was suddenly forgotten how alive and on fire the forest had made him, as the sound of the lady’s voice made him being more alive than even the forest could.
     Eli found that the beauty of that voice resonating had brought him to his knees, even tears; it was known in the depths of the heart -his very bones- that this voice was why he was drawn, no pulled, to this place. That voice gave meaning to the senselessness and filled in the pauses left in his heart by the secrets of the woods. It was understood, at that very moment in time, that the melody was meant for him.
     “I need to find this woman!”
     But alas, the sound of her exquisite voice was fading, fighting a losing battle against the subtle sounds of the forest and the graceful mourning doves. She was fading into the deepness of the snow covered trees, dulling the sound, where soon the silent breeze would erase what little beauty of her song remained.
     This just cannot be allowed to happen! After having that splendor, it just couldn’t be given up. It wouldn’t! Eli had to find it … Follow it …. Take it. He needed it!
     Rising from his knees, he absently brushed off the snow and began to follow the distant sounds into the thick of trees, and the darkening wilderness. Trying his best to squeeze through apertures of the snow kissed trees, which were becoming ever more difficult to negotiate. Crafting a way through corridors and leafless thickets lashing sleeves and legs, he forged ahead. The mist creeps closer covering the forest like a cape. Moving as quickly as possible, with legs feeling like stone. But despite all the effort, he didn’t make it to her voice.
     Her call stopped. The magnificence hadn’t gone entirely. Each astonishing note was etched into his memory, and engraved on his soul. Lord knows how much he needed it back. His mind wasn’t allowing for anything less. Eli backed himself into a tree and allowed himself to slide down, slowly catching his breath. Tears gradually fell in sorrow. The sun’s rays spun silver. In the end he fell asleep in the still quiet of the winter’s morning.
     Eli slept for a long time after that.

     Waking up, the first thoughts are of her. A smile spreads to his face as he considers her voice. “If only” he whispers, “I wish we could be …” Sunshine was streaming around him, dappling the earth and turning the misty air gold. A tear rolled down his cheek as he rolled over and knew that she was gone. Another fell as it was recognized that she was never there. What had transpired seemed as if only a dream.  It was some distant fantasy Eli couldn’t bring himself to entirely remember. Everything condensed to a speck of dust, floating through the corridors of his mind.
     The time that was spent sleeping was not an empirical fact that could be recalled with any certainty. The sun was high in the blue morning sky, so it was either still late in the morning, or this was later … Far later. Eli managed to suppress any doubts of time and simply convinced himself that it was only a couple of hours later in the same day. It was feeling cold again and the curiosity has all but evaporated.  Vertigo too had turned its unpleasant head toward him; and fear had revisited to play a bit part in the family of things. It was time to leave the forest then, but …
     “Where is the way?”
     Eli began to walk toward the rising sun, although he knew not the reason why. Maybe it was just assumed that if one walked in any one direction long enough and far enough, one should, by all logical and rational means, reach the end of such a place. Then again, maybe he wasn’t thinking much at all.
     Hours slid past. The pit of his stomach is hollow, empty. Nothing fills it. His skin was red and stung like an inferno from the cruel cold. A breeze began to pick up and Eli tucked his arms under his shoulders, and his chin to his chest for warmth. The whispering of old wood, groaned as it strained against the cold which filled his ears. Clenching his fists, he kept walking. The pain of his nails digging into his palms kept his mind off the trees and predicament. Some of their bark, so wanting of color it looked to be blackish-gray, seemed warped. Knotholes made misshapen eyes, apparently peering out at him from mutated skulls of wood. The wind traced over his shoulders. There were the spreading stages of giving up hope of ever escaping this hopeless place.
     That was when it was heard again.
     The voice. Her voice! The Lady’s exquisite voice was trickling through the trees. Soon it began to ring loudly and distinctly through the crisp smells of forest pine. It was coming from the direction he was headed! Eli ran.
     Wasting no time he was soon racing up the gentle grade at a full on sprint, heedless of stray branches that may have drifted in his way. With every beat of his heart, with every breath of his lungs, her voice grew louder, and in some unknown way even more wonderful. He ascended the rise, and the river below began to impart harmony. The sweet melody resonated as he ran down through the trees faster and faster, kicking up clumps of snow in his wake. Some might propose that it was the running through the forest that had made every part of him regained warmth. But no one would be able to convince Eli, now, then or forevermore, that it could be anything but her.
     Finally he skidded to a stop, and away went the voice.
     Eli was there.
     She began to sing again. It was still so beautiful. The beguiling tune made gentle love to his ears. It was as delicate as a Lotus petal, yet as powerful as a full symphony performing Beethoven. Standing at the mouth of the river, frozen with both ice and time, he finally saw her. She was walking along its solid surface, singing her pure melody, and without as much as a glance, toying playfully with his fascination. She, with her long silver hair, and elegant long ivory colored dress, was as beautiful as the song she sung. From the beginning he just wanted to lay back and watch her sing. Just to pass the time looking into her eyes, and engaging himself to her song, was everything Eli would ever need to do.
     As she walked there was heard a cracking beneath her feet, a minor fracture, and an imperceptible slim line. Quickly a spider web of crevices spread across the surface with growing speed. The ice groaned and popped. Abruptly … The Lady fell into fragments of crystal, plunging into the freezing depths, and the song drowned away with her, taking with it every part of Eli.
     He needed it back. “I need her!”
     Without thinking, without logic, without rationality, and so swift as to be without fear, he leaped into the abyss after her. It was a mistake he would ever regret. They were both in the water. There, together, they at last looked into each other’s eyes. And in that split second, they knew. And suddenly the world was warm and soft – suddenly, time stood frozen, spellbound.
     Eli outstretched his arm and extended his fingers. She clung to them, and he pulled her to him. Together they swam against the flow of the river towards the chasm in the ice. The struggle was excruciating. Each stroke was a meager attempt against the prodigious current. Every second seemed like an hour, every minute seemed like an eternity. The frigid water seemed as a vice holding on to him. Yet … with her he felt warm, with her, they prevailed. Reaching the fracture, Eli pulled with everything he possibly had left, and lifted her onto the ice. She turned to help pull him on the icy surface.
     Arm in arm, she helped him to the bank where she laid him down in the snow. She kissed him sweetly on his forehead and whispered into his ear, “Thank you.”
     After that his memory dissolves …
     Eli awakened in a cabin which was clearly in the woods. The scent of cedars and firs hung in the air. Across the room was a fireplace, its lingering crimson color, dancing around, painting the walls. And she was there, gazing very gently towards him. She rose from her Bentwood chair, bent over him, hair softly brushing his arm and touched his face with her smooth hand. “You saved me” she began, “Thank you, thank you so much.”
     “You want to thank me?” Eli asked pulling away. “More than anything!” she exclaimed, her eyes watering, smile spreading.
     “Then let me close my eyes …” he said, pausing again, “… And sing to me.”
     Every so often there is a flame that was so full of magic that burns brighter than the rest. All Eli did know was that he wasn't dreaming. And he had taken the final step into the light.

*The End*

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"After The Fall" (4/2/11)

This has got to be one of the saddest songs ever written. As the story goes, Beethoven realizes that his love Theresa never would have cared about his deafness and is crushed as he realizes what might have been. Lord knows I would never want to be in this position. Nor can I ever let it happen! This video of the song by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra captures this song perfectly!

Here are the lyrics:


Time only time could never take me away from you
And why should it try time never cares just what we do
It just sits on a star and gazes down
Dropping its moments all around
And if I could wish upon that star
I would find what you dream and then ask god to grant it

I wanted to say this long before this dark would fall
At night I would pray this then wonder if god heard at all
For the chances I've had are now long gone
And that star is no longer wished upon
For on this night it seems too far away

Try I have tried to pretend that I don't care
But then sleep arrives and in every dream I find you there
But I don't want the past to be my life
And I don't want to live inside this night
But I don't want to see your shadow fade
So I sleep and I dream though I don't understand it

I wanted to say this long before this dark would fall
At night I would pray this then wonder if god heard at all
For the chances I've had are now long gone
And that star is no longer wished upon
For on this night it seems too far away

You can live your life in a thousand ways
But it all comes down to that single day
When you realize what you regret
What you can't reclaim but you can't forget
If I could just fall back into my life
And find you there inside this night and let eternity just drift away

Monday, December 12, 2011

Those Summer Dresses

This is the first "real" story I ever wrote. I was in a beginning Fiction class and people were writing all sorts of stories, mainly sci-fi, stuff that was at least somewhat violent and had orks in them ect. I was about to drop out of the class, I just couldn't write like that and my classmates could write rather well, how was I to compete with that? So a germ of an idea appeared to me while sitting in the commons on a rainy day and that weekend I locked myself in an dingy motel in the middle of no where, the rain continued to pour, and here is the result. It was make or break as far as I was concerned for this class as it was so different than what others were doing, I was going to drop the class the next day. Somehow it was well accepted and I was shocked! Its even going to be in our College's literary Journal coming out next month!

Here is my first story ...

Those Summer Dresses

Another rainy evening finds me sitting by the window.  I am watching the drops of water as they fall against the glass, the streaks of light as the streetlight shines brightly. The pane is cold to the touch; my fingers leave a small vapor from their trace.  There is the tinkling sound of wind chimes coming from the porch. My cat Izzy has somehow found a spot to curl up in on my shambolic bed and Charlie dog is snoozing in front of me with his chin on my feet. What is it about rainy days that make you feel so alone?

On the table a small candle is burning sweetly in its light as it flickers slowly. I have a very warm cup of coffee, not so much because I need it, but because I love to feel its warmth in my hands as it flows into the coldness of my fingers. The TV is on atop the small wooden dresser with the sound off, and the stereo is playing this Coldplay tune. “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.” I’m listening to music as it seems the only thing that relaxes me, for a while I don’t have to really think of anything. Glancing at the tube I can’t help but notice a cute young looking brunette actress, flouncing across the street in the rain, wearing a fluttering red and white flower print sundress. Damn. What is it about summer dresses that breathe their life into a lonely man’s soul?

Laying back in my overstuffed recliner, I recall sitting on a graffiti scared park bench, with the summer heat on my skin, and glorious treats filling the senses. The summer dresses would pass by; they would sway and voice their concerns to the playful wind. They would soak up the daylight and were worn like the sunshine itself. They would light up the world with their amazing colors of yellow, pink, green and white, dancing in the sun with the grass and wind. There is no music but I feel it flow through me and come alive. How many are hoping for someone to dance with? What is it about summer dresses that make a man want to get up dance? A smile cannot help but to cross my face …

Ah yes, I remember back in high school when I met an angel named Judy. She bought this dress, made of the lightest green with little white flowers all over. She wore it from dusk to dawn, sometimes for days at a time. She danced in it, drank in it, ate and slept in it. She sometimes did things we sure as hell didn’t want her Daddy to know about in it. It was a billowy, spaghetti strapped dress made of cotton that was perhaps a size or so too loose. She oh who she loved it!  Memories, drifting like feathers softly through my mind. Never will I forget Judy and that simple green dress!

I remember another one, a taller one, a clean sleeveless white, with ruffles down the side with a touch of lavender embroidery at the hem. I couldn’t help but to wonder if she is wearing anything under it. She still believed in magic, unicorns and fairies. It is so easy to imagine her, with perchance a small white headband to support her auburn hair streaked with grey, capering through the woods. She probably took a penny with her, or maybe a special quarter, hoping that perhaps that whatever she was wishing for would come true just a little bit faster. Everything about her seemed so childlike. “Dreams are priceless”, she said, and you can’t argue with that I suppose. For a moment the vision was perfect. Then again memories can make things that way.

I remember a third, a blue and white one, which would flare up about her knees when she spun around. I would see her by a massive oak tree, the one with the smooth little bench that was under it, writing about thoughts, desires and dreams. Oft times she would ask me to join her and the warm summer breeze would gently sweep leaves about us. The writing would stop so that she could take it all in. I look up to the sky, let my hands reach over my head and I feel the grass with my fingertips. Time would be delighted in looking at those lofty clouds, as free as the open air ourselves.  Sometimes you would kiss me; sometimes you would run your fingers through my hair. Sometimes we would sit there in silence. Silence with her was beautiful too. Eventually she would put her pencil to paper again, and the words came out evermore enchanting.

Even though it was only March, the end of March to be fair, but still March, she thought she would be optimistic about the weather and try for once to make an effort. Feeling a bit down it was decided that wearing her scruffy jeans, the first t-shirt on hand and washed-out grey hoodie, wasn’t going to make it yet again today.  This dress has never been worn before, not even on vacation, despite how much she loves it. It is cream colored sun dress with blue flowers, tight at the top and then floats outwards, the skirt part of it was gently ruffled to give it more shape. She also chose her thickest pair of black tights, it was March and it was pouring rain after all. Though still a bit edgy and kind of close to tears, (though probably no more so than usual), she tried her best to smile and be chirpy. Like the way she used to be. An acquaintance of hers does the same, acting as if she's confident and happy and somehow it seemed to help. I have to wonder sometimes, how many people are acting? Sure some people thought that what this girl was wearing was daft, but there seemed to be a change. She didn't particularly remember consciously being miserable, but the world around her seemed to become a lot sunnier.

Some people like to say that looks don't matter, that they're not important. I thought that as long as you are comfortable that's all that mattered. But I think I may have to change my mind. It cheered me up a little to find that sometimes, when all hope seems lost, that a simple thing like dressing nicely can really cheer someone up, even me. What’s up with that? Obviously I'm not going to go and wear a dress now, though it may sound like fun in an odd sort of way, but I might try making an effort to look my dashing self someday and seeing what happens. But alas, today wasn’t that day …

The wind stands still, and clouds roll across the sky. I take a stroll outside, getting myself wet on purpose so that I could sit by the heater and look out the window. There was this itch to dance. The sky begins to darken, shadows seasoning underneath. Izzy and Charlie doze on. The rain continues to beat a tempo on the windowpane, though now appearing more soothing … calming. “Dreams are priceless”, she said. It sure does seem that way I reply.  I get up to and walked into the kitchen to ponder … What is it about summer dresses that breathe their life into a lonely man’s world?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Girl on the Metro

Another story ... This time from my first fiction class ...

Girl on the Metro
Hello ... A whole month and I’m still walking around on glass. But people wouldn’t believe me if they knew, even though they see me every freakin day.

You know, I’ve always hated the phrase, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Those words give way too much credit to humanity methinks. Seeing to believe? How much do we really, really see? Shouldn’t people really say, "I’ll believe it when somebody can show me rock solid evidence, when it actually matters to me?" Leave a message at the tone … beep …

People see every moment. Yet no one can surely, truly believe what they see. No one recognizes people for what they are, or the experiences they wear on their skin like a tattoo. No one seems to ask for a name today because no one can see right in front of them, much less remember a few moments later. Why bother with formalities when there isn’t even time to look at someone. Anything can start with a hello, can’t it?

There is not-a-one, yet we all continue to see and place people in the tidiest of boxes, the emptiest of labels, in the simplest way. Fat Guys, Hot Girl, Baldy, Wino, Ugly, Gangster, Skinny Chick, Mother of Seven, Dude, Lesbo, Baldwin, Dead, Zombie. The list goes on and on and on, some names more interesting than other ones. Some seem more intimidating.

I have the honor and privilege to be one again for you today good, kind-eyed Sir.

Pleased to meet you, I’m just the “Girl on the Metro.” (But I would feel much more interesting if I were The Zombie.)

I see you every day, week after week, but have not spoken to you. You’ve seen me every day, week after week, but have never spoken to me. I haven’t said more than two words to anyone on this train for a while now. It doesn’t matter to you how this damsel ended up here in Metropolis, boarding the “E” every day of the week at seven in the morning. It doesn’t matter why I prefer to stand instead of sit, even though my orange JanSport pack weighs over twenty pounds. Heaven forbid I have to sit down by someone. Sheesh!

You never wonder how I can afford that mauve leather bag I clutch to my chest, or the handmade canvas protected by two sheets of cardboard I snatched from outside by the dumpster. It seems to bother you that I don’t wash my hands, like I’m some kind of Street Waif. But I do wash! Two, sometimes three or more times a day, under scalding hot water until I turn cherry red.

Don’t worry good sir, its only pure pigment from mixing tempera on my fingers. Egg yolks are good for the skin you know, though I probably can’t say the same for the pigment. Now, if you could get past the stains, you would realize how enjoyably soft they really are. You can only guess I’m one of those Crazy Bohemian Chicks, minus the dreadlocks. You think you know the ones; they don’t eat meat and brazenly dance naked in the rain shamelessly. WooHoo! Rain exists to dance off the ground don’t ya know. There you go seeing again. Knock it off! Sheesh! Why do I have to be so discombobulated … so wary … so quiet when I find a guy interesting …

For a spell, maybe you just chalked it up to my wearing headphones. Possibly that’s why the girl is so silent. Oh no! Don’t worry. It’s not an attempt to ignore anyone (well, yes it is), it’s just my way of performing the unapproachable ‘Girl on the Metro’ you’ve got locked inside your head.  Sir, Maybe I didn’t have the cash to plug them in to anything, so I just make up the songs in my head. Take it as my Mad Bohemian Poet nature and not anything too important. I wouldn’t want to ruin your image, you know. The phones keep out unwanted questions – no one wants to bother with someone who shows as much interest in them as they do in me.

I see you Metro Boy between Glitter Girl and the Man with the Magazine. I can’t help but feel tense from your chance casual looks my way. You have a smile that could brighten my day, making it about the only thing I see as natural and untainted in my stained world. My heart is going b-dump, and begins to gallop. Still you continue with your discreet glances. Still I catch myself beginning to blush with every look you take. Does he think I’m pretty? Does this count as an admirer I wonder … Or perhaps I just look weird? Trying to act natural, not daring to take in your profile, well not too much. A peculiar and wonderful muddle of fear, hope and happiness churn within. You know, I really must find that necklace my guardian angel left behind! My fingers clutch tighter on the shiny hand rail as I turned to focus out a window towards the rear of the bus. The Bald Guy two seats back seemed unaware that my eyes were stealing his window outlook.

Everything looks grey out there ... The sidewalks, the windows, the roads, the sky. It’s wet too, the kind of damp that makes your Converse do the slight squeaking sound on the pavement thing. The grey pavements mind you. Then suddenly something’s there; colors that stand out against the grey! Spray paint, Art! Coming in from the outside and then knocks on the heart. Not sure what it says or means, but there is a history nonetheless. Maybe a Girl wrote that, or a Boy. Maybe Dropouts, maybe they’re Aspiring Writers. Possibly they’re Potheads, Photographers, or Freaks. Who knows? Who needs to know?  With art, everyone’s the same, and still not the same. I recognize the value of how I can ignore parts, yet let it pour out slices of me alike. Could it be a Lawyer maybe or a Lover? It may possibly be a Surreptitious Judge or ‘just’ an Offender? Hmmm …. Maybe it does matter. But hey, art is hard to interpret. Like people … Like the Metro Girls and Boys …

… Like me. I’m happy, quirky, kindhearted and caring. I’m also sad, lonely, depressing and barely here. I say every line is yet another note in my symphony of colors. I’m all sorts of broken pieces, insecurities, and half-finished characteristics fleetingly blended together, here to give a little shading to the surroundings. I’m in the bargain bin, the finished product will be sent out next Thursday if you please. In the end which is more real? The little ole me that everyone sees every single day, or the one that only I know? What is seen, what you all think you see, is not what’s in front of you. You see what I want you to see, what I want you to see. And that girl is not me. I hate her! If seeing is believing and I only appear when the lights are out or the doors are all closed, why doesn’t someone start banging on the door! Come on; get a crowbar … something … anything! Yeah, maybe it does matter.

I wish that you’d get the nerve to ask me why you rarely see me smile, to investigate me. I’ve always had this fantasy, a sweet dream really, of someone being so kind as to inquire. They’d take me away from this routine “E” train ride, to somewhere quiet and ask me if I was okay, ask me anything. Ask me over coffee perhaps at the cute little French Café on the corner. Yes, that’s the ticket, that’s how it would happen.

“I see you every day and I never see you smile. Are you okay?”

I’d slowly shake my head. No words yet. Can’t look anxious. I’d stare at the swirls in my coffee. It feels hot on my fingers, fighting the temperature of my vintage country mug. I puff on the steam rising in spirals.  “It reminds me that I want to shower again.”

There. Now I’m interesting.

“How come?” And then it would happen, “Tell me …”

But you won’t …

Best for me to build an uninviting fence I tell ya. No one would care to climb over or crawl under it when they think they know what is on the other side of it. Like a nasty Rottweiler snarling, licking its chops or something. No one will know I have a story. And if no one knows, I don’t have to tell it. So I’ll reserve myself until my time comes. I was stupid to think you could see Sir. I don’t blame you. You’ll just go on knowing nothing about me and its best it probably stays that way. What was I thinking? Hell, I don’t even like coffee!

I don’t want anyone to see anyways, unless they are willing to look. It would only be then that it would be worth the risk of seeing a face without seeing someone’s back again. Suppose what you will, I’ll always be ‘that’ girl to you Sir. Kind, reluctant and forgettable. You don’t have to listen, oh no you don’t. In fact I know that you won’t. I’m just that Bohemian Girl on the “E”. You know all there is about the Girl on the Metro, don’t cha now.

But you know nothing about these: The Survivor girl, The Abused, The Sick, The Beaten, The Hurting, and The Muse. Therefore, my good Sir, you know so little about me. You don’t have a clue about the nights I spent under my bed and under those men in whom I should have been able to trust. Do you understand what it feels like to be bent in half or snapped in two? Wham, bam, thank you mam. Do you Sir, have a clue what it feels like to not feel truly human. I open my mouth as if to say, “You’re still beautiful.” But we both know that’s not true. And the thought makes me want to cry, just a little, but I hide it so very well.

It really is wrong of me to think that because you see me every day that you are responsible to dig at me, and find the better parts of me. I shouldn’t think that of anyone. Everyone has secrets that they long to hide, hoping that they will not be exposed by anyone. Burying them in the backyard, veiled behind umbrella drinks in festive colors, and keeping them behind meaningless conversation, hidden by flowers and barbeques. I am the secret and I want to be free. I want to be known! I want to get rid that that girl who pretends to be me, sweet, gentle, smiling and ever so kind. The one you forget about when you are in the same room as them, and on the same goddamned train every day.

Goodbye Sniper. Do not think I owe you anything, and you’ll forget all about me and the words I’ve never said. I’m ready to break the rules of the ‘Girl on the Metro’. I wish you would make an effort, I’m so tired of being ‘hard to get’. I’ve tried to call out for so long but can never find my voice. No one is listening again today anyway; they only believe what they see. Well you know they all see me, why aren’t they looking?

The “E” slows to a gentle stop in front of the Café Toi et Moi. It’s her stop. Beneath the Tuesday morning traffic, the laughter of the teens in the back, and the flurry of activity of the fellow Metro-ites clambering to get on and off the train, there was a voice. It was a cautious masculine voice reaching towards the Bohemian picking up a handmade canvas, protected by two sheets of cardboard.

“See you tomorrow.”

I gather my ‘art’, dangling my bag over my shoulder. I didn’t look back as I stepped of the train into the milieu. Nor did I look back as the train drove off down its tracks, leaving the busy sidewalk as my companion. I dare not see what look his face might show, apprehensive at what emotions his eyes would betray. Does he find me interesting? Or would his face reflect disgust? Or worse yet, it would be nothing at all. Better to live in uncertainty, than face what his face might display. Now I can save my hopes, fears and anticipations, for perhaps the next train ride.

The “Girl on the Metro” walks a few paces, peeks in the toy store window and then abruptly stops. Suddenly apprehending, and nearly getting rear ended by another bumbling pedestrian with an unpleasant word or two to say in the process.

Was that “See you tomorrow???” Hello …

Cafe Toi et Moi = Cafe Me and You

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Violinist's Wife

Here is a story I written for a Fiction class at school I would like to share .... Enjoy! .... Let me know what you think!

The Violinist’s Wife

     Theodore is holding her intimately again, gently and warmly, as he has held her every single day for several weeks now. Without a doubt she is his one true love. From the doorway of his studio I stand back and watch him embrace her. I covet the way he lays her body against him, the way they seem to seamlessly fit together, the way they seem to be made for one another. Eavesdrop on her scream and whisper in crescendos, singing high, low, and every note in between. Teddy told me before we were married that he couldn’t possibly love another more than me, but I’m afraid I just can’t see it. He absolutely adores her. And truth be told, how can I deny him the pureness and beauty of his love? When he glides his bow over her strings, the singing of the vibration, the burning of the notes, there is nothing else like it. Theodore’s violin is the woman he pines for, the one he desires. Late at night after we make love, I know her harmony fills his dreams.
Theodore is playing in legato enhanced by vibrato, the notes flow like streams, one over another. As I lean against the entryway to watch, I see he is unwilling to part from her. As I turn to leave, he sees me from the corner of his eye, and looks up abruptly. He is still sliding the bow across her strings, his fingers hovering over the delicate curve of her neck. He pauses …
“What is it Carly?”
“Oh … Nothing.”  I recognize my reply is fragile.
He narrows his eyes. “Sugar? You seem …” Whatever it was that he thought I seem he doesn’t finish. He exhales and turns back to the sheet music in front of him. “I should practice a while longer. Why don’t you get dinner started?”
Oh sheesh! I nod. Dinner. It’s what the violin cannot provide. I turn reluctantly to go to the kitchen. The music resumes to breath over me. The sound is so clear it fills my chest. I long to be Theo’s violin, I ache to be a part of it all. I never have had the head for the wonders he and his violin can create. Although I love it, when I tried my hand at music, I could not throw myself fully into it with passion. Writing was more my thing. Now I wish that I could, to save myself from the loneliness. When Theodore is not creating music with her for himself, he is performing for the Philharmonic.
His love for her has taken him farther than his love for me ever could. Far, far from me. The music he makes is so beautiful; I can sense his romance with her with every single note. The slow concertos are like a fairytale love story, in which you anticipate the prince to find his princess. When Theo plays a daring suite, I can see the dancers in shimmering dresses throw sparkles across the spotless polished wood dance floor, the stuff of storybooks. That is the potency of their love.
I know that it is silly, always very silly, to be resentful of an inanimate instrument. Who could I tell? Who would listen? But she seems to be alive under Theodore’s touch, and he is unwilling to part from her. From the studio, I can hear the mood of the piece he is playing flawlessly change. The notes rise and become sharp and quick. This new melody is upbeat, almost has a bounce to it. The bow slides quickly, the violin moans from pressured strings, notes tremble in the air, breaking silence into sparkling shards.
Ambling into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator, I realize how low we are on anything that can remotely call healthy. We, well mainly he, make good money. However, he is so preoccupied with her, he hasn’t bothered to grocery shop, and I have been swamped for the past month. Today, really, has been the first day I haven’t had pages to mark up, change, and re-edit for all of January. Releasing a weary sigh, I walk towards the front door of our flat.
“Theo,” I shout.
The music continues to spill out of the studio.
“I’m going to the grocery store,” I continued perfunctorily, knowing that my words were drowning under the melody. His performing is ceaseless. I turn and gather my coat from the nearby rack and grey scarf. I open the door and stare. The hallway is nippy. *sigh* I have zero desire to shop. I quickly realize. I have no desire for anything. I step back and close the door. I do have a desire. I want my husband back. Theo has been seduced by the magic and mystery carried in his music. Biting my lip, I turn away from the door and toss my scarf and coat on the floor. I proceed towards his studio. He has paused momentarily, and is leaning over the gorgeous mahogany violin to scribble a few notes to himself. He looks up and sees me in the hallway.
“I thought you were going shopping?” He sweeps a strand of hair that has fallen loose from his ponytail behind his ear.
“I’d rather you came with me.” The words fell out quietly. “It’s freezing outside, and the city is so…” my voice trailing off when I see the look on his face. “Forget I said anything,” I say stupidly. What the hell else can you say to a musician?
But the look he gives me is not what I expect. His eyes hold me captive. It brings to mind the first time he caught my look from the stage long before we were married. He was playing a Paganini Violin Concerto.  And I remember the way he played her, as if just playing for me, just me alone. The auditorium dimmed, the symphony orchestra became soft, and it was only he and I and the music. The sound ... of the violin ... so brittle and innocent ... with a touch of bittersweet and longing ... made my heart ache and remember ... many things. She was not a figure at all, but an instrument for our love. I believed we glowed that night. The intensity of the gaze he is giving me, in silence, is the same but, I cannot read its intention. I am anxious about what he will say to me.
“I’ll order out and go shopping tomorrow, ok?” My voice is pleading, I’m not sure what for …
Theo breaks his look and nods, “That’s fine.” As I turn to go, he begins to play differently now. He is playing her spiccato, hitting her strings with his bow, notes being bounced off. The song he is playing sounds downcast, yielding eerie memories. My mind conjures up the impressions of storm clouds, amassing to form a funnel over some distant plain.
I leave the room and wander down the dimmed hallway. Our flat is considerable, painted in warm tones of deep red, and muted orange.  We’re the sort that decorates with fresh cut flowers and candles, and with paintings blended so beautifully with colors, and no lines to tell me who I should be or where I have to end. But despite all of our best efforts, there is a chill in the place that apparently cannot be lifted. Even Theo’s love for his violin can’t exorcise the concealed threads of ice. I pick up the phone and speed-dial the number for the pizza parlor a block and a half away. I order a large half- California Club and half-Hawaiian. Sometimes compromising is the easiest. And besides, I don’t want to interrupt the music any more than I can help it. But damn …

I decide to head for the bathroom right across the hall from me. It has a large, spacious bathtub, the kind with the soothing jets. I scarcely ever use them, but their comfort is not lost on me. I usually shower, so I don’t waste valuable time I could be spending on changing tenses, and amending ‘there’ to ‘their’ on a sloppy manuscript. Besides, this bathtub seems to be full of memories.  I turn the handle and soon steam rises off silken water, with bubbles floating through the air. Sitting on the side of the tub I take my slippers off and dip my feet in the water.
It was just about a year ago from this very place that I had rushed to show Theo the plus sign on my pregnancy test. He had loved me then, and he had loved the new life inside of me. Two and a half months later I felt something was terribly wrong, so I crept to the bathroom. Soon enough I had discovered it; blood, lots of it. I knew I was losing it. You can’t lose this much blood and expect it to still be alive, still be breathing … of course not … it is impossible. The pain, the cramps, they were unbearable, the vomiting, the dizziness, all of it ... too much to take. I took some medicine, lay in the bed, and eventually slept the rest of the day and night out.
The next day I spent the entire afternoon in this tub, contemplating how my body had become a tomb. I was devastated and inconsolable. Theo had sat on the toilet next to the bathtub, leaning over me, rubbing my hand. There was nothing for it, nothing was said. He left the room and silently came back with his violin, and sat there and played. Quietly weeping, the violin moans from pressured strings. He played for me then, but I think he was playing for himself as well. The notes fill my chest as my tears would not stop. His music has always been where he has thrown himself, and the way he played her that day, we shared the lamentation. Before long, tear drops stain the mahogany one by one …
I would not return to that day for anything, but he used that violin to love me. Now he only loves her. I suppose I cannot blame him. After that day, several months later, I had another. Children cannot grow inside of me. It’s like I was poison to them! And it was Theo who became inconsolable. He had never verbalized he wanted children, not aloud, anyway. But he way his face lit up when I told him, and the way he played when they passed from me … I knew how very much he aspired to be a father. Perhaps that is why he prefers her to me. With his violin he can create. She is superior where I have failed. Sometimes fate is so cruel.

I turn off the jets and kick my feet softly in the warm water, Theo’s playing has stopped. I hear the front door shut.  There is silence for a moment. Then I hear footsteps coming closer to the bathroom.
“I guess you didn’t hear the door Hun. It’s on the counter if you want any.” He pokes his head in the doorway then pauses before speaking. “Carly, is something wrong?”
I look down at my feet making small ripples in the water and finally shake my head.
“Have you … Have you been crying?”
I keep looking at my knees above the bubbles and don’t answer. I want him to take me in his arms and hold me, but I know very well that he won’t. I wait a few seconds which feel like minutes. At long last he grips he door face, tightly, before turning away. “Don’t let it get cold,” he says half-heartedly as he begins to amble down the hall.
He never eats in the studio so I know that he is sitting at the table, or at the very least hovering over the counter. I get up to rinse my hair then drain the bathtub. Dinner together, even in this state is more appealing than the alternative, dinner alone. I step out onto the floor. “Crap! There are no towels.” While puddles form around my feet, I slip on my robe that was still hanging from the door, and proceed to make little footprints on the hardwood floor as I walk to the kitchen and dining area.
As I supposed, Theo is leaning over the kitchen counter, munching on a piece of Hawaiian while looking out the window at the wall across the alleyway. He has a plate set out for me beside the pizza box. I open and take out a piece of the California Club. Trying to smile at him, and then giving up, I pick off a slice of avocado and pop it in my mouth, taking the plate and the pizza to the table.
“Carly?” he says after a while.
I look up at him. He walks up to the table and sits across from me, a vase of tired Peonies between us. He’s got the look on his face of a man grasping for words. He seems to mentally shrug and continues, “The new piece is difficult. I keep getting distracted, slipping into older pieces. More natural I suppose …”
I nod slowly. “It sounds nice from what I can hear.”
“It’ll be better when I can play it smoothly, of course”
I stare at my plate, picking at the peppers and chicken distractedly. Then I stand up. “Do you want anything to drink?
“Yeah … Sure … Is there any orange juice?”
Opening the refrigerator, I am again instantly reminded about how low our supplies are. “I guess I really should have gone shopping. There isn’t any.” I pour two glasses of water and bring them back to the table. We both sit. We both eat. Neither of us speaks.
“How is the manuscript going?” Theo asks after wiping his face on a napkin.
I shrug. “There’s nothing to write home about.”
“Well maybe you should!”
Why don’t you actually take up writing instead of just tearing other people’s to pieces? You always can find just the right words!”
The suggestion strikes me. I’ve thought about it many times, but the excuses then begin, real and imagined, and those in between, to avoid actually doing it. “Oh please,” I say, trying to sound casual and amused. “One artist is quite enough in the house.”
“I’m sure you would be good at it!”
I shake my head. “No … No … I’m … I’m content.”
“But are you really happy?”
I force a smile as I look up at him. “When I am not, I know that this too shall pass. You should just be concerned with getting that piece prepared in time for the Spring Concert.”
He rises and picks up his plate and carries it to the dishwasher with a sigh. After standing for a moment he turns and says softly, “It’s not a piece for the Spring Concert.”
I cannot hide my confusion. “Are you not playing? You are almost always first chair. You are expected to be there. You can’t possibly be thinking of sitting this one out!”
“I can be!” he declares, rubbing his bottom lip with his long thin musician’s fingers. “Come here.”
Theo takes my hand and leads me back to his studio and sets me down on the window seat, the one with the decidedly better view. With extreme care he opens the violin’s case, and lifts her by the neck-gently. Caressing the smooth varnish upon the carved surface, he lifts her to his shoulder, and the tension heats. Horse hair placed at rest upon strings. All thoughts leave my head. With a silent sigh of anticipation, and an inward breath and preparation, with a flicker of light in the dark of clover eyes, he begins to play. I have heard him play all day, but this time he has made it clear that he wants me to listen. And so I do.
Describing the composition without poetry would be hard not to do. The violin plays my soul as my heart glides across the strings. The beat of my existence represents a sad tale, of loss, pain, and suffering that can only be freed through the expression of string and bow pressure momentously singing notes. There is a passion, an immense terrible passion that overcomes me, it crescendos throughout my being. I can see it in the shift of his expression, in the concentrated frown of his mouth and in the sincerity of his half-closed eyes. I could almost hear the words in every touch. The song trails off into a sweet, deep melody, and then jumps up into lightness with sudden staccato.
I’m sure that this piece is not one I’ve heard before, but there is something intimate and familiar to it. It wraps around me, filling me with is deep vibration. I feel the song binding me up, but softly, carefully. What makes Theo’s playing different I realize, is that he is not playing it to hear the sounds she makes. He seems to be waiting for something in the playing, and when he is finished, he looks up at me. The decrescendo lingers in the air.
“That was … That was …” I begin standing up.
“For you.” He said quietly. “Carly, are you going to leave?”
“Wh-what?” my voice stumbles.
“I’ve seen the way you … Like he rooms you are in no longer matters. Like you are planning to get out, to get away … Of all of this.”
I am taken aback. I look down toward my toes and shake my head. Looking up I reveal, “I don’t know Theo. I’m going around and around in circles.”
He puts his violin back in her case and closes it as she has completed playing her part in this. Then he takes my hand and pulls me close. We embrace, and the warmth of it that rushes through me is far greater than any music, or perhaps borne of it. Holding on to him, and bury my head in his chest. My heart is beating fast, allegro. I could swear I am hearing symphonies …