Whenever she heard even the softest draw of a bow across the strings, her heart would break. She knew the music wasn’t his, but she couldn’t escape the haunting melody that repeated in her head. Over and over, without pause. A never-ending minuet bringing her to tears.
Between 2000 and 2011, 215 people in America died from objects falling off buildings. And no, in the scheme of mass shootings and domestic homicides and car accidents, this statistic is nothing. Irrelevant. Flaccid, lifeless. The likelihood of a carpet bag filled with steel hammers falling twenty-nine stories, making contact with your skull, and fusing a metal-and-brain sandwich into hot concrete is nearly zero. For the most part, you should feel inclined to leave your protective headgear at home.
Maya waits on the church stage in an ankle length black dress with white stripes holding a flute. She stares at a giant window covered in coloured plastic panels that play with the light. Looking at all those colours, she can’t tell if outside is cloudy, raining, or sunny. One blue panel has a spider web crack across its surface.
I see the guitar case first, full more of hope than of the hard currency of shining coins. The kid sits on the pavement, half-hidden in the shadow of a low granite wall. He’s doing a pretty fair rendition of Hey Joe, working a beat-up acoustic guitar. The thing needs new strings, but he’s getting it done. That strange magic, the universal language of rock lyrics, washes away the kid’s Austrian accent. The chords walk down the neck, Joe kills his woman, the crowd ignores the kid.
Charles Warren had been working on his invention for two years, but a key component continued to elude him. It was simply a machine that played a simple melody, but it wasn’t a traditional music producing machine like a music box or hurdy-gurdy, but rather a giant set of complex elements, more like a huge mechanical sculpture.
Setsuko was twenty years older than me but she looked my age or younger. When I was first at university my brother came by and started talking to me when Setsuko was giving me a violin lesson in my practice room. He thought I was performing in front of a friend.
I was baaaawwwwn. In a one way cul DE saaaaaac.
“Is that actually possible?”
“Is what possible?”
“A cul-de-sac being one way. How would you ever leave?”
I set my beer on the bar and give Frank the look.