Soul Music

 

Music was the only thing that divided us.

She played beautifully, and I could only watch and listen.

I met her at college. 

She was a year ahead.

She flirted with me, which was fun. 

Despite my age, I was inexperienced. 

She soon fixed that.

We were way too intense, but at that age, intense is fun, if a little disturbing.

You may say I was thinking with my dick, and you would probably be right, but no one was being harmed. 

My soul kept telling me that something was not quite right — then I would be with her again, and I would immerse myself in her and drown out my soul.

She joined the small musical group organised by our university, and they performed on most Sundays. Tiny little halls and churches scattered over the metro area. I tagged along, sat in the audience and revelled in her talent.

When the recital was over, I would tell her how good she was. She’d smile and tell me all the bits that went wrong (me, being illiterate in all things musical) and I would say that I didn’t notice. 

We’d find a cafe, eat cake and drink coffee.

As the sun was going down, I’d drive her home and suggest that we make some music of our own. She never said no, and I would love her until I couldn’t.

My soul became more insistent.

My dad knew what was happening — he’d been there too. Talented, beautiful women can make you forget who you are — in the most pleasant of ways.

“So how did you handle it, dad?”

“Badly.”

I did too.

I look back at that time as though it happened to someone else.

My soul was right, and if I hadn’t listened, I would have missed the love of my life. 

I’m lucky because I have lived long enough to know that I’ve become the person I am because of the people I have known.

The lady with the long legs and the violin was someone I knew well.

In The Moment

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He is going away, and I don’t want him too.

“It’s only for a couple of days. I’ll be good. No time for anything else — too much work to get done.”

I believe him, but my world gets smaller when he is away.

He is working to secure our future, and I get it. My job (for that is what it is, a job, not a vocation) brings in a wage. It will all stop when I’m with child.

My husbands loves his work — the meetings, the travel (especially on trains), the drama and the office interactions. He tells me everything. I feel like I know them all.

As the train is preparing to depart, I lean into him, feeling his warmth and his strength. He’s thinking about the tasks ahead, all played out in a distant city, and I’m thinking about him, yearning for his return and feeling his hands on me, celebrating.

My hair will cascade over his body, and he’ll run his fingers through it.

“Don’t ever cut your hair, my darling,” he will say.

“But when I get older it will not be attractive,” I will say.

“I don’t care. I love the way you plait it. I love the way it sways when you walk and flys when you run, and I love the way it feels when you let it down, and it caresses my skin.”

These things will happen, but for now, there is the agony of goodbye.

Chadwick and Veronica: remembering

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This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.

As it turned out, it was all about memory.

Chadwick Kirchmeier had spent a large portion of his long life fiddling about with stuff.

At least that’s how his wife Veronica described it.

They were both a bit forgetful but not so much that it caused problems.

They were not what other people would consider old, but they knew that life does not go on forever, at least not in these corporeal bodies, and Chadwick wondered what might happen if one or both of them began to drift off into that unkind darkness.

He was determined to gather all their memories together so that those who came after them would know who they had been, who they loved and who loved them.

Neither of them could write well let alone type, and the idea of talking into one of those damn machines had little appeal, so Chadwick did what he had always done since they had been together; he improvised.

For a long time, he had known that the long metal fibres that can be found in certain wire brushes behave strangely if you heat them ever so slightly.

They become a kind of ‘memory wire’, and they absorb the knowledge from whatever you put close to them. As far as he could tell the wire held that knowledge no matter what you did to it. So long as it remained intact, the knowledge remained intact, and even rust did not seem to diminish it.

To retrieve the knowledge or memory it contained, you simply stood close to it and remained very still. The memory would flash into your mind and stay there until you began to move.

Most of the strands contained shared memories, and they recorded them standing side by side because this is how they had been for most of their lives.

When all the recordings were finished Chadwick and Veronica bundled them all together and put them in a cupboard in their kitchen.

As their friends came to visit them over their remaining years, they seemed drawn to this room and always remarked on how warm it was, even in the winter.

PHOTO BY: earthquakeboy many thanks for letting me use this amazing shot.