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 …