Sunday, January 8, 2012

End of the Song

Heart Songs
(Part Five)

Sitting at the computer, I tried to order my thoughts, carefully replaying the night’s revelations. With this newfound perspective, how did my insight equate to this relationship? What was I feeling? Did I want a song to come blasting out of the ether, weighty with meaning, deciding for me? Or was I already there, hard on the vapor trail of Bonnie Riatt’s métier? I'm tired, worn out. Rubbing my eyes, turning the radio down to a soothing murmur, I begin to write.

After a time, a hand enter my vision, a voice says softly, “Would you like to dance?” and I’m swamped with deju’vu. As I look up at him, my brain goes quiet. I don’t hear any sounds, see any pictures—my cerebral cauldron has finally stopped bubbling. He gives me an enigmatic smile, takes my hand, walks me back to the den. Strange, I feel a bit shy, awkward even. How long since we’ve danced?

He turns off the lights, the glow from the fire our only illumination, pushes a button on the player and pulls me against him, wrapping arms tight around me. This is good. Sting’s voice drifts over us, not really a dance song, but we’re hanging on, swaying together, the words to “She Walks The Earth,” feather my ear as he whisper-sings to me. His voice gets low and gravelly—shivers up my spine—as the lyrics burning with desire float into my head. I get it by the time he’s singing every other heartbeat, I beat just for her.

Ah. The catalyst song and the music man. I’m in.


A slight chirping noise finally registers: my computer’s pitiful cry of alarm. Jerking upright, I realize I have fallen asleep, my neck is stiff, my hands splayed across the keyboard. Twenty-eight pages filled with alphabet soup, attached to the end of my story notes. But far, far worse, as comprehension slowly penetrates my sleep-addled mind, I realize my music man didn't come for me after all.

The house is quiet and shadowy around me. Vague, wispy beams from the streetlight outside my window angle across the carpet; in contrast, the glare from the computer screen is shocking against my weary eyes. Glancing at the clock on the wall above me, I sigh in resignation. 3:00 a.m. Haven’t I been here before?

I shut off the computer and stand at the French doors, my heart heavy as I stare out into the dark, rainy night. It’s not every day your brain catches fire, or you have an astonishing revelation; it’s both exhilarating and exhausting. I have a fleeting vision of that other 3:00 a.m., a barn and baby lambs—even with time past and years gone, achingly alone still feels the same. I endure a sharp burn in my solar plexus for a moment, then I can't help but smile.

Now that I truly comprehend the force of music in my own personal opera, I know that somewhere, sometime, I will hear the song, or the song will hear me, and decisions will be made, changes will come, life will move forward.

Because no matter the time or place, the person or the dance—in my heart and soul there will always be the music.

-- End --


When I first began to write this, these three guys stood out in my mind as the main focus of the story, the major players who had passed through my life--along with the music--up to that point. There were minor players, other stories and adventures, but these three undoubtedly had the most impact. (About two years after Music Man and I broke up, I went to Scotland on a business trip and met Alan, and though he became a major player for sure, he came along after this story was written.)

In case there is some curiosity about what happened to those three guys, guess what..?? I know. Well, more accurately, I knew. Since I've been living in Scotland for nearly a decade, my intel is now pretty dated, except for one of them...

Corporate Guy:
He spent over a year hiring and firing workers to care for the farm after I left. No one would do the work I did. Eventually he sold the place, moved east and started his own business with heavy equipment. I know. Very strange choice for a corporate guy. He used to call my mother once a year or so--though it's been a very long time now. Last anyone heard, he was doing very well.

Toxic One:
He quickly found another victim woman, moved to Florida and worked for NASA. I used to fervently hope an alligator would snack on his manly bits, but I let that go after awhile. My sister and her husband are Porsche people and belong to a club. They go to rallies and other club things, from Canada to California. They were at a car show several years ago and my sister recognized him in the crowd. He was overweight and wasted looking. Lucky escape for me on more than one level then.

Music Man:
We're still really good friends. In fact, we had a great long phone conversation over the holidays. He's a good man, and though we couldn't manage as partners, we did forge and keep a warm friendship. He's a wonderful guitar player and is in a small band that plays around Seattle, mostly for fun. I'm happy he's still a music man.

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