The pianist 

Tonight a teenager diligently practices an instrument in a room void of people. The tv speaking from the room beside him. The night growing darker and the pianist playing harder.
He doesn’t know what time it is, but he knows how fast and how slow to play the song he has been playing for quite some time.
Key after key.

Key after key.
Every movement stored into his brain until even his muscles know it. Rhythms that would seem too abstract and difficult are now being played in a harmonious melody.
Key after key.

Key after key.
He only has to get the next key right, and then the next one, and then the next one and then the next one.
Key after key.
He only has to-
And there it is, a wrong key.
The pianist, in a teenager rage plays a handful of clashing notes and without stopping he commences again.
Key after key!
Perfection as musicians may say.
Perfection is what he wanted.
The night grew darker, and dogs barked, and he alone got lost in the music, in the endless rhythm, in the endless notes, and the endless errors.
The room was filled with music, not one second did it offer silence.
The hands on the clock kept moving, and the pianist kept playing.
Key after key.
Until.
Silence.
His hands dropped.
He laid his head on the piano and listened to the silence.
What was he doing?

The room, it was

Empty.
Void.
And the tv kept talking in the room next door.
It’s been hours.
The song was being played to endless repetition until even the pianist no longer heard the music.
He only knew the rhythm.
1,2,3,4

1,2,3,4

1,2,3,4
Except he hadn’t noticed.

Consumed in his own distaste!

Wrong!

Wrong!

Wrong!

Again!

Again!

Again!

Perfection was what he wanted.
The music faded from his ears, and it wasn’t until silence filled the room that he noticed.
Gently he placed his head on the keys, a small echo within the piano could be heard where the hammers banged the strings.
The clashing keys continued to softly echo, locked in the chambers within, and this time his ears could perceive the notes.
Music.
The pianist stayed there sitting, with his head on the keys, he stared down to his feet.
Music.
He had forgotten why he was playing.
He was trying not to feel, his anger manifesting in his foul playing and his ears deafening him!
Music.
Why was he playing?
The musician didn’t ponder this question nor did he think, instead he listened to the music that was around him.
The crickets playing outside, the house creaking at odd intervals, the tv singing in the background and the dogs barking off pitch.
That was music.
He listened to the random sounds that to him fit in perfect harmony.
Music.
Slowly he picked himself up and he gently placed his hands on the piano once again.
He took a deep breath.
Just once, he wanted to get the piece right.
Just once.
And he played.
Softer, raising the volume when needed, lowering the volume when needed. Speeding up when needed and slowing down when needed.
He played, but softer, smoother and little did he think.
Just once he thought.
And around him the notes floating away from the piano as it filled the room, until the very last note was played! And again the room was empty.
The walls absorbed the notes and in his mind, he had done it.
That night the musician smiled and played the song again and again.
The song flowing flawlessly from the piano.
And in the end he stopped.
Music isn’t just the notes played, but the silence in between.

 

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