The thrill of the music still lingered in the place. A few shafts of light still touched down variously onto the darkness of the theatre. I sat there running my thumb and index down the seam of my coat repeatedly.
The heavy empty. The heavy empty. I repeated(more) the phrase to myself repeatedly. The loop kept up like a prayer. My fingers continued running down the seam of the coat the way a penitent soul might briefly handle each bead on a rosary.
Frantically my mind was grappling with the dichotomies inherent in heaviness leveraged against stillness or the word play of still and thrill.
Thrill then still. The thrill-ness left in the still-ness. It's still but still the thrill.
I thought of all the books I'd like to write. Thought about the ties that bound them. The threads that merged them together. I was hunting for the seam like the seam I ran now between my thumb and pinky finger.
I reminded myself of the phrases. Thought on the advise by Hemingway to find "one true statement".
My stories just aren't that way great sir. I have only questions. Only shafts of light touching down on dark empty spaces. Only the seams and not the coats. The materials too expensive you see. I'm sure you understand.
My imaginary Hemingway asked me a question about the seams.
I told him my one true things.
I told him about the way "intensity fades into the everyday".
I told him "happiness is the art of being OK".
I told him that I would write about a man who survived himself then sat to think about how to proceed and could only arrive at a question at best.
I told my great sir Imaginary Hemingway the line the man said "So What Now?"
We're somewhere in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, but all I can think about is how I would fuck the brakes off of her.
When she started out with us, I realized just how much faith I can put in muscle memory. Right now, I have no idea which(more) measure we're on. My ears hear the pizzicato violas, and if I gave myself a second I'm sure I'd hear her cello too, but I'm absorbed, transfixed, totally drunk on her. Her hair is a black mess on top of her head, probably shoulder-length but it's hard to tell because it's always done up like the roof of a Russian cathedral.
Watching her from across the pit is my vice. Her legs spread rudely to accommodate her instrument, her body shuttering with every note. It's so easy to imagine her naked, me the cello, her thrusting, the vibrations, the music...
Outside of performance, she seems like an airhead, but a sweet one. Fluttery, a dull grin permanent on her soft face, always participating in an ongoing joke no one else heard. She dresses like an idealistic sculptor, baggy denim button-down shirts and faded black slacks, old shoes too worn out to be hip. It's like she can't focus on anything other than her craft. I think it's the passion I'm so intoxicated by, even though I only play horns because it's easier than telling my mom I don't want to.
I haven't spoken to her yet. That's not odd; I haven't met most of the ensemble. There are almost sixty of us. I can't even name everyone in the brass section. But I know hers: Paolina. Means small in Italian. Looked it up. I like it. I think she's Italian. She's got a sharp, cute face. Like a rabbit. A small rabbit.(less)
it hit me right there when I saw how illusive the truth was, how oblivious I was to the scheme of life itself, how blinded by my own idiocy, my own longing to complicating existence, while everything there is, is there in the simplest fashion, a grand, elegant design, of(more) course. (less)
The road ran before them, stretched to the horizon. Sunlight bounced off of blacktop, heat rising in shimmering waves as cars raced along the unbroken stretch of interstate.
This, more than a windowless bunker tucked away underground, more than a random dirty motel room - more than anything,(more) was his home.
Ed had the windows rolled down, one arm folded over the door, his other hand resting on the steering wheel as he lounged back in his seat. Al had complained about the wind, the noise - Ed ignored him, turned the dial on the radio all the way up and blasted them both with an old mix tape. Out here, in this flatland stretch between cities there was no guarantee they'd pick up a radio station worth a damn, and a gorgeous day like this one demanded only the very best.
Road ahead of them, road behind them. They were headed west, toward the sun - werewolves, Russell had said on the phone - probably. He didn't like it when Russell was unsure, but the only thing he had was the fact that the victims hearts were getting eaten. Werewolves were suspect number one in that circumstance, especially given that the attacks coincided with the phases of the moon. Ed drummed his fingers on the wheel, in time with the beats of the music, and glanced over at his brother.
Al looked up, caught his eye and scowled - mouthed something ("turn down the music dumbass" - Ed's lipreading wasn't that bad) - and Ed pointed to his ear and grinned. "Can't hear you," he yelled. "Music's too loud."
"You're a fucking dumbass," Al yelled back, and Ed laughed, relished in the sun and the road and the company, and stomped on the accelerator. They had places to be.(less)
Never have sex in an orchestra pit. If there was any advice Laurie Bernard, acclaimed life coach who held seminars across the country and whose patients ranged from EGOT winners to single mothers who could barely afford the half a grand each of her sessions cost, could give you,(more) that would be it. She learned the hard way. But every time she recalled the story, either at a drunken gabfest with her dearest friends or on national television, she smiled and laughed. Twenty years, two children and 4 husbands later, it was fucking hilarious. Twenty years ago, hot and sweaty when the director of the Philharmonic found her and the best cello player in the country in the dark orchestra pit, in the throes of a very passionate sexual encounter, it was thoroughly humiliating. But hey, laughter is the best medicine. And so is more than 10 million copies sold worldwide, at a bookseller near you.(less)
"STRIKE UP THE BAND" shouted the man at the front of the pack of rag tag musicians. Instantly everyone sprang into action. All who were sat were suddenly standing and those that were already stood positioned themselves, preparing to use their bizarre looking instruments. I had been standing there(more) for 5 minutes, just on the incline of a nearby hill, watching the strangeness unfold. It was endearing, seeing all these otherwise inept looking people so engrossed in the moment. All of them supposedly come together to create this one intriguing orchestra. What amazed me more was the inclusion of animals in the procession. Cows and horses and cats and dogs and...if my eyes weren't entering retardation, a platypus. If I wasn't so sure of my mental standing I'd have thought it was holding a triangle. Who knows what they would sound like but as soon as I saw the first person hold, what looked like a trumpet, to their lips I was pretty sure I'd discover soon enough.
The time was 9:00 am. It was going to be an interesting day.(less)
"Are we nearly there yet?"
No. Not yet. Nearly there now.
The concrete walls had given way to hedgerows as the sun began to sink on the horizon. Would he miss it? Was it enough to make him change his mind? The beauty of the world an(more)d all that. The radio played in the background, "Browneyed Girl" weaved it's melody around the corners of his mind. Would that be the last song? He could go on, the last tree, the last cow, the last car. Like when they were children, and they would play that game on New Year's Eve: the last what ever of what ever year. But he decided to focus on the task ahead. No use dwelling on the past or the future.
It was now dusk and it necessitated him putting on the headlights. When he made up his mind he knew where he would go. There was really only one place really and that was where he was heading now. He felt it would be a fitting setting. In front of him, he could smell the sea. He was near. The road narrowed and the scraggy fields rolled into sand dunes. He swung a left to follow the faded sigh "Strand 1km". Grass grew in the middle of the road and ticked the under carriage of the car. At last, a car-park, rough and uneven as he came to a halt. A weak moon hovered as he fumbled in the dim light for the bottle. This would help. He took a deep slug, the liquid shocking his throat into a constriction as he spluttered. The second one went down easier, smoother. It got better with practice, he thought, as he prepared for his final journey. (less)