Each Note in a Tune is a Fracture
He’d heard that the song remained the same, but let’s face it, that was a lie. Elements skipped, portions jumped. There were broken points all along the way. No matter what he tried to play, which way he tried to play it, there were changes. He looked at his hands in pity. It wasn’t for himself, oh no.
Along the radial of his tendons there were the slips of nail marks, still red and angry. He didn’t feel them, not now, though then. The marks were the notes of a sad song, of an elegy, of a goodbye that he didn’t get to say. He’d been playing since then, since the bandages came off. An accident, of course, and he was glad. He’d only lost a little. Only.
When you let go you let go is all.
Rowdy feathers in a field of crows. He tries to concentrate on the music. There must be a way to get things, to take them back. There’s a way to play, at least that’s what he was taught. Teaching has its place, after all. Notes and notes. The piano spits them out.
He’d written this tune himself. Rising and sawing. Moving as knock-kneed, first-gasp foals. The piano at him and back again. It falters and fails. He stops and steels himself. This wasn’t what practice was about. You approach the song as an enemy. It’s there to be conquered. That’s practice. Just as you don’t go climbing rocks without a rope. Without gloves. Just as if you reach out for help then you hold on. You don’t flail. You don’t fall.
He stretched his hand out before him. One, two, three, four. There’d always be something missing. The song wasn’t quite the same. There were moments missing and curtailed. He looked around the room. It was, not suddenly, but quiet. He settled himself and started to play a broken tune, but underneath the quiet remained.