Monday, May 11, 2015

Magic Hat 5.11.15


I have a melody reverberating in my fingers that aches to be played. I can feel the tingling sensation in the pads of my digits, under the prints that mark me as individual--and the melody wants its own musical fingerprint. It wants to run across the five lines, over and over, leaving swirling footprints in the wake of sound. It wants to be pounded out, etched with the sweat that falls from my brow onto keys and strings. With bow and pedal and pick. It's winking at me from across the bars.

But I've sat at the piano, and strummed my Martin, and felt the hair of my bow, and there is nothing there. There is air and ideas and the thought of something. The wish of a song that is so ephemeral that it floats away on the puff of air I exhale as I sputter "fuckfuckscrewyourmusic" at my instruments. Clearly, they're to blame.

Today is not my day to make music.

I'll do what I always do when I need to hear my song. I'll lace up and go out, feel the beat beneath sneakers with each pound of my legs. Only--I can't run. The doctor said no running. Not yet. My body isn't ready for it yet. I'm stuck. Walking isn't the same, is it? It's not fast or harsh. It doesn't sap the oxygen from my lungs or send calcium to my muscles. It's absolutely useless as a status update on Facebook. Walking doesn't require my concentration. It's one of the first major motor skills I mastered as a baby.

First: get that chocolate to my mouth--mmm, thin mints.
Second: getting to the chocolate is easier if you're upward and mobile.
Third: thin mints are even better from the freezer--learn how to climb.

The melody is now taunting me. I am tempted to name it "Beau" after the asshole in high school who always taunted me with his really ridiculous name calling. (I can call it ridiculous now because I can see what a bag of dicks he was. Really? Who calls someone "gargantulady." Am I a really large arachnid superhero? Dumb.)

I can't run. OH MOTHER OF HERCULES, I CAN'T RUN. How can I get the itch out of my fingers?

I put on my tri-suit and decide to swim a few hundred meters. Here goes nothing, right?

The first stroke feels like I'm wading through sludge. It's possible I am. It's a YMCA pool in Brooklyn. Can I be sure it's not water from the Gowanus? I think it may be. It smells like pure bleach and sweat in the natatorium.

But soon, it's like I can swim through mercury, through quicksilver. Like the water is beading on my skin and the notes are falling off. I hear it. I hear her. This song is definitely a woman. A beautiful woman with thick thighs in the bass and a full top. She wears tights and sandals. Her lips are rubies coated in honey. She serves me tea like a geisha as I swim. All prim and proper, but with subtle sexual sultriness. I can see the bow of her lips in eighth notes and half-rests.
Full stop. She's everything.

I strip out of my tri-suit faster than I've ever done during a race. My transition time from triathlete to composer is almost instant. A teenage boy on prom night couldn't disrobe this fast--or with this much promise.

I pick up my Martin, her name is Olive. I finger my frets like I imagine the Geisha fingers the perfect tulip of her complicated hair. And there it is. A song in tights and sandals. Prim and sexy, with bowed lips and bitter tea. Perfectly drawn. AGACCAG#

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