“Play something to make the soul of a stone weep.” The room was dimly lit and slightly smoky. That rich, strong voice that had spoken so with such melancholy belonged to an old, white haired man. An untouched glass of darkly clear purple liquid stared back at anyone who looked his way.
Old and gnarled but dignified, as if this man had lived a lifetime of hard adventures, and then one day slipped into an honest service the remainder of his life. Clear sober eyes wandered about the room from behind great white brows heavy with age and wisdom. The room was fashioned in the likeness of an old-style bar, complete with bartender but populated by the elite and educated. The man, I don’t really remember his name or even who he was, wore a wizened face that had seen much, pain and suffering as well as joy and happiness. Neat, clean clothes he wore, old but worn with dignity, added to the great gravity about him.
I wondered then, why he had said that, obviously it was to the pianist, who did oblige and smoothly transitioned into a melodic flow that, it if could have been seen would have been rolling waves of despair and billowing clouds of anguish. My heart was wrenched and as I chocked off a sigh a single tear danced a slow, arduous dance off my face like a leaf, falling from the tree to its death on the ground. Several of the women, some rich, others beautiful and adorning the men around them like the jewelry they wore themselves, openly cried and looked toward the man who had wrought this change in the atmosphere, despondency written in their eyes.
“Play for the remembrance of time lost,” The glass was still there, I remembered through the sad haze that now filled the room that it had not been touched at all- the man really knew what he was doing and how it felt. “Time that was lost in an argument, love lost over a word. I am not drunk, I have a life, had a life. Then I lost time, my family I shoved away, now all the time I have spent haunts me because they are here no more. What good is life, if the only reason to live was thought to have been taken away.”
The piano had swept its mournful spell into my heart and I felt… a void, jet-black and blood-red, wavy and sinners green. Beautiful colors, true, but colors of pain and sadness nonetheless. I closed my eyes, my ears if I could have, but the colors, the colors were still there.
My own drink, one deep and dark amber, now collected droplets of liquid diamond on its side and the room filled with silence under the heart-rending tone of the piano dancing with the man’s sad words.
“None of that really matters, its only a fool’s sentiments, but time lost, is time away from God. All this time I was in a void from my family, away by myself, I was away from God.” His voice almost cracked, eyes now gazing through time, and clouded in memory, hand around cup.
“What does it matter, if you make all the right choices, gained the ideal job and life, won the world, but in doing so lost the one truly important thing, God. I missed out on time, but learn from my mistake; treasure these moments, they may be your last. Remember time, fought so many, often times, does have an end, for us.”
The man had apparently not observed the effect of his speech, all across the room, men and women had head bent or bowed. I alone struggled to stay up successfully but gasping chocked still could not rid my head of the soul-turning music of the piano. I was not old, maybe seventeen at the time, but I remember it to this day- there was a flicker and the man was gone.
I write this now, years later as I remember the old man’s words. I don’t know why, maybe I thought I hear that same old song as was played that fateful, heart-changing day, but I did. My life was never the same after that, I still didn’t like piano music much, but I did remember time. I just hope time has not forgotten me.
So, I tend to write best while I’m most strongly influenced by something. People tend to write better, I’ve noticed as well, under the slave whips of something. The great American writer is not, in fact, a person. No battle of the sexes here, both of them loose out in the grand scheme of things. No, the winner here, and I’m sure a few of you will agree, is the great god, alcohol, King Bottle. Now, the Pipe Prince comes in a close second, though the dilution and range of drugs makes it harder to match alcohol in purity.
Now, I’m not saying that I smoked or did drugs back in high school. I’d never touch the stuff, honestly, I dont’ like it at all, though I don’t find tobacco a bad thing. Neither was, or am, I an alcoholic, and I didn’t even drink in high school at all. Even now mine is typically limmited to cooking wine in my potatoes.
My “muse” is emotion, something far more capricious than any man-made substance. Now, I know a few people will say I’d be hard pressed to be able to pull out an emotion other than the slight whine I’ve got, and maybe an annoying optimist, but I do, in fact, have a few more emotions, anger ebing one of them that I try desperately to suppress. I wrote this back in high school, junior year I think, and I was mad at my dad. Really, really mad. I really like this piece, and I keep coming back to it for some reason. So, here’s one for emotion.