Thursday, March 1, 2012

Songs and Stories

Often I write the stories with great relation to the music I'm listening to at the time. I have a friend who draws in like form to music. Sometimes I draw inspiration from the music and the people surrounding me. Honestly I never think of how it feels to dis-include the people who have inspired my works without giving due credit. Last year I had the opportunity to meet a talented musician, who is quite modest about his skill. I hope to hear him play in person someday. While I have to say that Guy, the musician did not inspire the story, he did inspire me to alter the name of my main character. Anyhoo, kisses. m.


“When the music used to play…” he tells me in the sweet drawl of a voice that reminds me of being a little girl sitting under the lemon tree listening to his yarn. And just like then my grandpa pauses for a moment so I can ask the question that sets at the front of my mind. Because he knows I have a question.

“Tell me about the music and how it used to play,” I tell him with a smile. It’s the same bright wide-eyed smile that only the inner child can produce from true sincerity. That inner child is something we never lose, some people simply forget that it’s there waiting to be released.

“Well then, let me tell you about the music.” he says before telling me the story.

Now a story from my grandpa was always a surprise to be sure. Sometimes wasn’t what I expected to hear but it ended up being what I needed to hear. There are some men in this world that some might call a prophet for the knowledge they possess and share is true. When these men speak that truth they tell it with the hope that others will soon discover the truth for themselves. I like to believe my granddad was something of a prophet for all those things he used to share with me always made sense in their own way at some later time.  

“And how it played on and on so very long ago.”

When the music played the good old boys in the band always sparked up the same way. It lifted their spirits and took their melodies soaring to new heights. Yet it was the same ol song no matter how they played it. And sadly it was the only thing they could muster the courage to play. It was the only one they knew. The only one he taught them to play.

Reese De La Beautran was an interesting fellow. He had the gift of music from an early age. Earlier than most folks but later than others. He wasn’t a prodigy by any means. None in the least. But something happened when that boy picked up the violin. Magic and the movement of the soul. Reese couldn’t make heads or tails of it, but the people all around him seemed to come alive when he played. And that made his heart soar. It lifted and grew to new levels of joy within to see others happy. And it was by something so small that he could gift to them. As he could put no price on the value of their joy.

Joy and happiness followed Reese wherever he went. It wasn’t something that he’d often thought twice about. His luck was something of a gift and whomever he was in league with benefited from that good fortune as well. It was something of a knack, his sweet music and so he went along playing it. Took his song with him to every city and every town.

Now Reese was a happy type of fellow but like any other man he fell upon bad times once and again. Yet it wasn’t like other men when he did. Something about Reese went directly hand and hand with his music. Some might say that it was a blessing to be able to put your emotions into the work. Other simply called it curse. Mostly on account of what happened.

And there are many accounts of what happened… it could only happen that way once.

It was a show out in the middle of a tiny poke of a town, not much bigger than a dot on the map. Something was in the air that night. The folks that were there that night said it was like a hand crawling up your spine. The energy in the crowd was mighty strange. They didn’t know whether to enjoy the show or give into that odd sensation that had come upon them.

See, on that night before the band started up there had been a bit of misfortune. Reese learned about the passing of his mother. It wasn’t what one might call a simple passing. It was one of great pain and suffering. To talk about the pain won’t help you understand only know that what was told to Reese went without question as a nightmare come to life. The man wrestled with his thoughts, his wits and his own personal character before summoning the courage to walk out on that stage.

But in the end all the wrestling couldn’t stop Reese from giving a performance. A show that some might have called the performance of a lifetime as it was purely driven from his soul. Others say something wicked took hold of that man when he stood out there playing his song that night. For what happened in the crowd was something unforeseen.

When the band played it wasn’t the same. Reese called upon a new song that he’d been deep in thought about. When he told the boys “play it by ear” they knew it wasn’t the some old song they’d done before. Well the people took it in sweet somber, just like the same melodies they’d known. Starting out slow and crawling up their spines. Nice and slow it went. Richer, deeper and a bit of melancholy for flavor went the new melody. With every beat the crowd grew intoxicated by the rhythm. Some danced. Some cried with joy. Some laughed. Some made no sound at all.

You see listening to someone’s song is an intimate experience. And on this night people where taking in a part of that man’s soul. Much like a painting captures the soul, a single note music heard carries a piece of that musician’s soul. And when Reese poured his soul into his craft on this occasion it surely changed the way a man takes a hold of another man’s music. For the melody shifted into a faster frenzy just as Reese transformed the sound something about the crowd shift.  

Much to people’s dismay there wasn’t not much anything that could be done.

One by one the silent people began to collapse without rhyme or reason. Tears moved to hysterics. Laughter became screams. Dancing became feverish.  And many stayed on listening without affection other than a foot tap or hand clap. Yet all involved were entranced by the song. A song that kept them facing onward. Reese curiously watched as both joy and pain wrapped into an interesting combination before him. An unusual spectacle to be sure of. Every person in the audience ensnared in the final moments of chaos.

The band loved every note of it. Like a hungry animal they ate at every inch of direction he led. Nearly exhausted Reese kept the band moving upward and onward with the sound anticipating what would come next. The climax.

Without a doubt it came. And Reese came down with it when it came. The end of the music and along with it came both applause and screams. It was as though they had awoken from a trance. The man saw his masterpiece equally as a curse. He saw the aftermath. The bodies of the unconscious strewn out among the happy and sad filled his heart with a small sadness. Even as he listened to the band weep behind him, begging for more he knew that this was it. Deep down from the grief he felt inside for his mother, Reese knew that there would be no more like that song. A song that he’d never forget but would tear at his soul.

“And now when the band plays… they play the same ol song. It just never sounds the same way twice. But it’s sure enough the same.”

“It’s not the same if it’s different?”

“How can you be sure?”

“I can’t. I guess I will know when I do.”

“And you’ll know when the band plays…”

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