Saturday, January 22, 2011

The gift that wasn't.

A soft melody came back into focus after having been blurred out into unrecognizable segments for a few years.  It plays patiently, perhaps in a different key than before.  I don't think there's a harmony, save my croaking leg pushing up and down for some company, but the melody line is sweet and pungent and elegantly simple.  It overtakes me in pieces too, mimicking a religious transformation--each question provides further blossoming worlds that build upon the last.  At first I am alerted to the corner of the room, a distraction, a movement, but nothing more.  After walking there to examine further what I presumed were 80s synthesizer beats rendered symphonically, I realized that my own rendering of scope was drastically in error.  I had been sketching on a pad with a matte brown cover, busy taking down the details as they played out in front of me.  The melody is three dimensional at once though, behind and in front of me in a way that cannot be sketched out, and I'm going to have to abandon the brown pad if I'm to represent this faithfully.

The old man who had deep creases pressed into his face like plaid, the one on the train who was looking your way in that empty half magical stare, he's opened up his jacket and removed a product of some sort.  There are words coming out in chunks, visually spilling yellow submarine style, and they're fluid and sharp, full but not wasted somehow, and you wonder what the meaning of the exchange is before you can ask him.  He's got something there, a gift, a present, and his hand is toying with the box for a minute before removing the tools.  Some sort of instrument is displayed before you, barely supported by arthritically crippled hands.  A noted resides, scotch taped, a thin film of dirt left on the sticky side where he must have touched it first before applying it.  It reads something in a foreign language that you don't at first recognize.  When the words become clear, you can't make sense of the meaning, mostly because you've become startled that you could understand such an odd alphabet.

Sure that there must be meaning to this act, to this label, you stand up suddenly and the train lurches toward a stop.  The doors slide open, well greased to coincide with an electronic bell tone, and the man is prepared to leave at once.  He pushes the instrument at you, and you can tell now that it is a woodwind, a clarinet, inky black and chromed ivory colossus, and ornette coleman abstractions break the already mostly silent melody that had surpassed all of your previous thoughts to resurface for those few moments.

Politely, with ever the delicate beak of a face, a women with a pointy purple hat nudges you on the shoulder.  "Excuse me sir, but I think he meant that for me, if you don't mind."  Not sure of the reason for the intrusion, before cognitively grasping that she is about to take away the most surprising mystery you've had in weeks, you hand it over and thank her kindly for letting you know.

No comments: