Short Story: …the ones who love to dance with light.

The movements of the world appear strange and chaotic, but beneath flows a clockwork mechanism. Each person, a participant. From the starting point of birth to definitive death, we go about our day, a cog. Most of us are but little gears, spinning with those around us, transferring the movement that is passed to us to those we are connected to. The mechanism flows in certain ways, regiments and movements. These paths become so familiar, they are no longer seen. They are the unchanging guide of our lives, an unstoppable force. With practice we learn to bend ourselves to the routines.  This is a homage that must be paid. We all must follow, there is no other choice.

The Doctor saw the mother, as he stepped out into the hall.  Her worried look spilled off her face onto her rest of her appearance.

“He’s going to be ok.” The doctor said softly. “He finally decided to come back.” It was three hours before when the kid in the next room stop breathing. Relief broke across the mother’s countenance.

“Do you know what happened?” She asked.

“No I don’t,” the doctor replied in a quiet voice, exhaustion filling him from the last few hours.  “we were lucky the child’s nanny realized that something was wrong. Her actions saved his life.”

The mother was still silent from the drama of the last hours, the arrival of  the paramedics, the furry of CPR  the relief when the pulse was restored, but it was another two long hours before Jacob became responsive.

“Have you heard of something like this? Asked the mother.

“No.” the doctor said. “It was as he just left” he said his word slowly ending in silence. “but he’s back now and I think he’ll be ok.”

The mother shuffled concerned at the lack of answers. Seeing he had done all he could, the doctor prepared to leave.

“Call me if you need anything,” he said. “or if anything changes” he added, Then he bid farewell and left.

The lines of concern filled the mothers face. Jacob was only four years old, and he had not been an easy one, he was quiet from the start, and now this. She left the hallway and entered the little room where the now sleeping child lay. Beside the bed stead were the notes from the doctor.  She sat on the side of the bed and stoked the little boys head, the little one was silent, exhaust from the events of the day.

The mother’s touch was gentle as she stroked the sleeping child. “Sleep sweet little one,” she whispered softly almost in a quiet lullaby. “Please sleep and stay, and don’t leave. May you dream of happy places, and little fear.”
Jacob sat in the large empty hall, his tutor was pacing again. The speed of her pacing quickened with her exacerbation, and now she was speed walking back and forth. At least, that’s what it seemed to him. In front of him lay stacks of papers, assignments and text from school. His head his brain ached from his repeated attacks on the homework, but though he tried, he couldn’t comprehend them. His grades reflected this, and at his teacher’s recommendation, he parents brought in the tutor, and it was her that was now pacing back and forth.

After a few minutes the tutor returned to the table and sat down.

“Jacob,” she said with a sigh, “what are you going to do?  You’re lucky you know, you’ve got parents that can take care of you, because your academics are not going to cut it.”

Miriam sighed, and crumpled up her own paper in resignation and tossed it to the trash can in the corner, which was overflowing with similar pieces of paper with half finished problems on them.  The piles of homework still on the table stood ominously. They would have to wait for another day.

“Why is it so hard for you to get?” Merriam asked, in almost wits end exhaustion.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Jacob. “I just can’t get it.” I honesty, he didn’t know why he couldn’t absorbed the information. However other people seemed to absorb the information well enough, so he sat in silence, staring down at his hands.

“Nonsense, we all feel like that, she replied, we need to just learn to change,” she said absolutely.

Perhaps she should go to the backup measures, she thought. A twinge of fear went through her. If her other clients heard she was giving medication to her pupils.  Maybe just a little bit she thought. In the end, who cared how they learned, as long as the grades improved. “you know she said, in a smooth tone, maybe I can help, she pulled a little pill bottle from her bag, here try one of these, she said as she removed one small pill. This should help with your concentration.

Hesitantly Jacob took the pill. He had a moment of doubt, but then swallowed. He knew the effects would take a while, but then all of a sudden, he knew it was working. It was like a pin as inserted far inside his brain.  And the thoughts that moved around were suddenly captured and pinned to the back of his skull. His mind slowly focused. Slowly the ideas on the paper In front of him started to connect with a logic invisible until then.  The assignments, though seaming in a foreign language, now was understandable, he moved his pencil across the paper. Merriam sat beside him in smug satisfaction. They could throw all they could at her, she thought. She would find a way, get them taught, that was her job, no matter how hard, she could get them done.”

With the day’s study done, she packed up her things to leave. She had two more appointments that night and needed to stop by the store on the way back, and her dissertation was still waiting on her that night. She packed up her things and left.

Jacob was hardly sad to see her go. The day was done, and slowly his mind came down from the effects of the pill. The pin prick of was removed, and his mind turned back to normal.

Jacob got up to clear himself from the day. It was a large room where Jacob was studying, lined with bookshelf and along one part of the wall a side table. On the side table lay a violin. Jacob came upon the instruments, but his boredom turned to curiosity. It was an old violin, but not of any historical value, found at an antique market somewhere and brought in as decoration. The strings were a dull brown with their age. It sat there long unused. A few scratches and dents in the body, not the kind that show maturity, but those of neglect. Still something made him pick up the instrument, he plucked at the strings. The badly tuned instrument replied in a sad tune. He tightened one, loosened another, until they sounded better. He plucked a little more, and the violin gave out a little tone in a warm wave. He picked up the old bow and gave the violin a try, pulling back in forth.

It was like the notes from beat up violin came like a thread, and with the bow, he was pulling at it to see where it went. The small instrument gave a long clear note. He pushed then pulled again, the tone changed. The little wood body of the violin trembled in his hands, then the instrument started to sing, the music came slowly, then flowed into the room.

The tutor was kicking herself for leaving her brief case. This delay would throw everything else off for the day, she moved quickly to through the hall, where she had accidently left, Merriam froze as she picked it up.  The apartment was large, but still she could hear the music from the large hall beyond the door. She opened it slowly to see Jacob slowly playing the instrument. The tune glowed in the large parlor, flowed pass her into the hall, and filled the whole apartment. Slowly she closed the door as to not disturb Jacob. This is good she though, very good.

“Hello, this is Merriam,” Merriam said leaving a voice mail for Jacobs’s mother. ”Yes well Jacob and I were able to make a break through today, I think I may fixed his problem with his studies, though I need to discuss it more with you,  and also I think we discovered something exciting…”

———-

Jacob could feel the stiff collar around his neck as he waited on the edge of the brightly lit stage. He could hear the murmurs of the audience, thought he could barely behind the bright stage lights.

After Merriam discovered his talent with the violin, Life turned into a whirl wind.  A music professor was called to instruct him on the classics and music theory. The density of the subject was over whelming. The days flew by in a mess of music theory, history, and notable persons. But with Merriam’s secret little pills, he grasped most of the major concepts. And while his other academics were not impressive the mediocre grades were over looked by his dispensation towards music.

Life for the last year and a half was a blur of people: instructors, professors, all working on his talent moving in and out of his focus.  Jacob was ambivalent towards the music, as though a friendly acquaintance. It wasn’t a seen as something crazy the tune was there, he just moved the instrument and out of it the sound flowed.  It was warm melodies.

The information he learned was interesting, parts of it came easy like playing the music, it was with every new turn he met was a silent individual, and he just communicated their conversation to others. Trouble came when the conversation would turn a little different then what was on the sheet music.

“No, no, no” the professor would say. “You see this series comes back and completes this thought here,” It’s symmetry! You must play exactly, no changes”

It took a lot of concentration for Jacob to play “perfectly” each tune seemed to have a personality, wanting to interaction a little here or there. Other parts of his education music theory made no sense, no matter how hard he tried.

It all came fast, like the end of a fire hose pouring forth information. He adapted quickly with the violin, but in all the structure and it was if something was missing. Like a place that didn’t match up. The time pass fast he absorbed the information as quickly as he could, and when he couldn’t he had the little pills to help.

He spent less and less time as school. The hype of his music dominated his time, the musical savant was what he was called, it was the music of Hyden, Mozart, Beethoven that he played, slowly the novelty wore off, and the new tunes became less conversation, and more hard masters to follow. There were strangers all around: other musicians, event coordinators, all times with other people, but beside his violin for companionship, they were alone.

He passed through the curtain onto the stage, moving to his seat beside the grumpy first violinist who was still moody at being displaced by the young violinist.  The applause died out from the dark expanse from beyond the stage.  He sat down, and at the conductors bidding, started to play. At their time the rest of the orchestra accompanied him.

Lonely on the stage, the music flowed out of the violin into the room, moving around his fingers, from the instruments, he played the piece, but for a second, it was as if the piece played its self.   He teacher had said the piece was difficult, but for some reason his fingers didn’t feel that way, Even the most complex cord structures pour out of the violin as his fingers trotted up and down the strings. For a moment Jacob forgot about the audience, the conductor, the stage, there was only the melody.

The piece finally came to an end, and he stopped. He lowered the instrument from his shoulder, facing the large black abysses of the faceless audience.  Silence filled the great hall, and then a wave of applause across the audience. The orchestra stood with the crowd in their applause.

The concert ended, people moved to congratulate him, strangers clapped him on the shoulder. He moved out from the crowd his back to the dressing room, the new large jovial manager came into the room.

“They love you.” he said, “you have a list of people wanting to meet you, you concurred this city man, the will lay at your feet.”

“Did it sound ok?” Jacob asked.

“Ok?” the manager replied, “It was fantastic! Now don’t worry he said there is much to be done, but don’t your worry about it. I’ll take care of it all, we are going to need a bigger venue, and I must extend your contract, and then there will be the tour,”

“Tour?” Jacob asked.

“Yes” said the manager. “Of course there will be a tour, the world is yours and will lie at your feet. but that will but don’t worry I will take care of all that.  Just you keep that fine violin in tuned and everything will work out.”

The big manager left the dressing room out into the crowd of people still lingering form the concert. Jacob felt a little wave of apprehension. But there were many people left to greet, and he would have to wait to think about it over.

————

The smell of the hotel room filled his nostrils, Jacob couldn’t decide whether it was the lingering perfume of the cleaning soap, or some type of antiseptic.  It was part hospital, part cleaning supplies.  The room was different, but just like all the other hotel rooms he had slept in the previous months. Time flew by after the first concert. He completed a series with the orchestra then, started to tour the country, then he was in such demand, they went international. He was swept from the from country to country: London, then Brussels, Shang hi, Tokyo. The insides of airplanes and anesthetic hotel rooms, like the one he was trying to sleep in right now.  The routine had become the same: jet lag, waking early, drilling with the violin that sat in the case next to his bed.   A lunch at one of the tourist cafés near the venue, then a rehearsal with the orchestra, return for the concert, then off to the next city.

He needed to sleep, but he couldn’t rest. He needed to get away from the anesthetic smell that filled the hotel and smothered his mind. He got up and grabbed a quick change of clothes. He left the room and exited the hotel.  He walked along the cobble stone street’ trying to escape the “clean” smell.  The dark coble stone glowed from the streets lights in the old town, a light passing rain dropped on the pavement. The cool air brushed by him, his mind slowly cleared was recovering from all the movement and concentration and the smell from the hotel. Soon he would be popping another pill, in a few hours to get him through the next day, but for now he strung wearily along.

The rain plunked on the side walk and a light mist filled the air, he walked the quiet streets trying settle his mind. How many venues did the have left? The same crowd, the same music, they were already talking of extending to a couple more dates.  He walked the silent streets his head a wrestle of thoughts and emotions, he divided them and hashed them out, moved them around and put them back to gatherer again, but still came to no conclusions.  They only sat heavily on his mind.

The silence was interrupted by some rabbles raisers at near the end of the street. A shop owner of a night bar was kicking out some patrons. One of the more vocal ones was a girl, she looked like it was a week since she had showered and at that moment was in a heated discussion with the café owner.

“You can’t do your voodoo here” the shop owner said.

“It’s not voodoo, you idiot.”  She replied her wily Australian accent cutting the air, “its art.”

“You emptied the salt shakers and covered a table with condiments” the owner replied.  Her companions laughed at the chaotic situation of it all.

“Oiu!”   She shouted back, from under here dreadlocks.  “We’ve graced this place with our presence long enough.”  She replied in false dignity “I will take my leave.”

“You will leave!” the shop owner shouted

The girl gave a mock curtsey.  Turned and locked arms with Jacob who trying to make his way around the scene.  He was initially startled, but she looked at him and kept his pace like the whole thing was planned all along.

“If you’re looking for some food don’t try this place.” She said matter a fact tone. There are much better cafes elsewhere.  Where Are you going?” She suddenly asked as if coming to the sudden realization she didn’t actually know this guy she was still holding arms with.

“Nowhere in particular” he replied.“I’m just walking.”

“So are we!” she replied. “We were enjoying this place, but this owner is an oaf.”

One of the girl’s companions glanced down at his phone.   “Jack just messaged me, they are going to set up at the master in 35 min.”

“Fantastic.” the girl exclaimed.  “Tell him we are on the way, and tell him we have an extra coming.”

A tinge of anxiety went through Jacob, not only was the girl still in lock step with him down the sidewalk, but now he felt like he had been invited to else, and not only invited, but someone had accept the invitation on his behalf without his notification. The whole thing intruded on his solitary walk.

“You’re going to love it.” She said. It’s the most amazing thing”

One of the guys had hailed a cab, gave an address to the driver then jumped in. The girl let go of Jacobs arm to and jumped into the back seat.

“We’ll are you coming?”She inquired. For a second Jacob hesitated on the edge of the dark road facing the open cab door and the pile of people inside. The yellow light that filled the cab spilled out onto the wet side walk, it shone portal to somewhere mysterios, for some reason it caught Jacobs attention. For a second he hesitated, ready to continue his walk, but there was something about these persons. So, for some odd reason, he jumped in.  One of them shouted “go” to the driver and the cab shot down the dark streets.

Through maze of streets, the cab drove, leaving the well lit cobble stone drives behind, moving from the historic, to the new, then to industrial. Moving deeper into the industrial district, Old buildings and warehouses lined the way in different stages of decay. Formally useful, but left abandoned by turns of economic and financial cycles.

The cab came to a stop in front of one especially large decrepit structure.  As he exited the cramped cap with his newly formed acquaintances, he looked up at the large brick facade, a logo, an undecipherable manufacture; only the faint letters that spelled “Master” were still legible. They crept passed the barrier fencing and entered deeper into the old building. It was a former factory or warehouse, Jacob couldn’t tell.  Through the large dirty windows moon light streamed into the misty interior, and further in Jacob hear something that sounded like music.

They emerged on the second level of the structure. Jacob found himself in a group of about twenty people. Someone had made a fire in a metal bucket and the group sat around.  It was an eclectic group, a man with in slacks and a jacket, the tie already removed from the day’s work.  College students, costumed street performers breaking character.  They stood and sat on empty bins, others were sitting on the ground the dust were dressed in bohemian wardrobes of rags and felt.  Others in the  outdoor attire of hikers and outdoor enthusiast.

They were the ones of the last to gather of this impromptu meeting, they joined the group who were already in the middle of a song, ones started the tune and some other joined in, the tune was an obvious an improvisation, but the members joined  his melody. The voices echoed inside the large expanse.  Filling the acoustic palace, mixing an improvised movement, the sound didn’t flow complete. It moved out from the place jumbled and settled. One of the group improvised a vocal track to accompanied the music. One of the street performers twirled two torches from the fire. The flames danced in the darkness.

His safety seemed little importance to Jacob at this moment. It was the expressions that these people were showing, it an echo of the art inside him. The art that does not come easy, or is understand simply or fit common rules. The silence of the warehouse was filled with the laughter and stories and songs and beat.  They didn’t try to eliminate the silence, it was as the silence moved with them.

“Where do these people come from?” Jacob asked the girl.

“They are the ones that matter,” she said, “The crazies, who dance, but cant. The businessman who loves light, but must work. We are the broken ones.”   She gave him a smile and laugh and turned back to the firelight.

Do you gather here often?

“Ever now and then”

“Are why have I never heard of this?”

“It doesn’t fit well out there,” she said gesturing to the way they came into the building

“It’s weird” he said “it’s like it almost makes senses.”

“But doesn’t” she replied.

Jacob could feel a slight shift inside him. In this broad place where in the decaying remnants of brick and steel and rough dusty wood floors, a new life seemed to burn. It was a stirring break in the logic, a corner or edge where life did not meet up, the margins is where they danced, a contradiction of life, and of laughter.

It was late in the evening when Jacob stepped out of the cab in front of his hotel, his companions and the girl bid him Farwell. The cab sped off, and Jacob was once again alone.  He entered the hotel exhausted, and yet the notes of the song played in his head.

Dawn broke slowly the next morning. As Jacob woke the memories were chased away by the sunrays. Was that all a dream? He thought but the dirt on his slacks told a different story. While he went back to playing the violin, a new set of ideas of moved in his head the music he went back to sounded different, thou it didn’t’ line up completely with the melody on the page, he thought they were more fitting.  He played the last of the concerts but by the time the tour finished his manager already had a new series lined up for him to play.

“Solo project.” His manager roared.  “Great idea, a selection of music, we can build a show around you throw in some back ground singers and we got a show.”

“Not a music project” Jacob said.

“What do you mean not a musical project?” the big manager said feeling this was already not the great idea he was ready for.

“An eclectic art exhibit. He said. An exhibit with water colors, sculpture, I provide some improve pieces and we bring it together.”

“water colors are great said the large manager,  it’s  what people want to see.“

“But what if that’s not what I want to do anymore.”

“What do you mean?” his manager asked, his tone suddenly turning serious.

“Maybe I’m tire of the music, maybe I want to try something else”

“Kid, music been good to you, it’s given you everything, what do you think pays for the trips and clothes. Hundreds of people would give everything to have the musical career you have.  You’re magic with that violin.  The round manager said. The conversation went silent. As the manager waited for a respond. But when none came, he realized that Jacob wasn’t budging. Suddenly he let out a sigh, as if finally coming to terms with the idea. “I have a friend who runs a gallery who’s owed me a favor for a while . And I can get a call out and an article in the art section, and I wonder if Shelda has changed her number?” Said the manager as he started to run through the details for the event out loud.

Jacob felt a slight wave of relief as the manager came on board with the project.

“We will need time.” the manager said. “eight months, will that be enough time for you to get a collection together.”

“That should be enough time.” Jacob replied

“Fame is unforgiving,” the manger said seriously. “Everyone loves a success. But it’s a dance on a tight wire.  Fall off.” The manager trailed off.” Well,” he continued “no one wants to be associated with a failure.” “But then again,” he said, almost to himself. “Maybe you can pull this one off.”

It was a furious eight months that followed. The manager was able to secure a deal with a gallery owner for a 2 month display; he got promotion from a couple of connections to the art community.

Sketches and painting s surrounded the Jacobs apartments, coving most surfaces. Jacob worked with a young set of artist, and sculptures, working to bring together the mix bag of expression.

Excitement filled Jacob, as he worked to organize the exhibit. It was a sudden happy moment when one’s connects with people and interact. As if after so long of playing before people like a martinet, he at last was coming alive, the little statue of Jacob, interjecting his tune into the world.

———-

The clock on the wall read 7pm, and the gallery was empty well not entirely there was Jacob standing in the quite halls, and towards the rear of the gallery a janitor cleaned the hard wood floors.  It was a quiet evening with very little humidity. The janitor, whose name on his shirt read “George”, swept the gallery floor. Jacob could not think of a more stereo typical name for a janitor.

The last couple of days were a whirled wind the days leading up to the opening were fill with last minute details, RSVPs , and a list to of last minute guest who came to see the savant violinist take on the art world.  A modern day Da vinci his manager promoted him.  A master of different art forms.  The visitors were  all very kind. Most, Jacob decided, were there to for a chance to meet him the young violinist. the art was greeted with less enthusiasm.  All very polite, he got the sense that they were not extreme impressed with the work. A couple pieces sold and had a few requested information on possible commissions. The excitement lasted through the Sunday, until the review from the art section on the gallery come out.

“On a whole the exhibit demonstrates a certain level of introspective, which reeks of narcissism” the review started, “ lacking the technically skill his fans are used to in his music, his talents are much more suited to the violin that the art community,”

His manager advised him to not to worry about the bad review.

“He’s just an old stuffer.” he said “you’d think after all these year of friend ship he would have given you a softer review,” he said softly. “but then again, there was that one time when I… “He trail off. “No matter,” he continued. It probably won’t make a difference. The child savant who took on the art world, people love a good underdog story.”

His prediction did not turn out to be true. The crowd that filled the gallery disappeared over night.  The gallery owner, in passing, commented on cutting the exhibit short. And the as George finished cleaning up, Jacob gathered his things and headed back to his apartment.

The apartment was lightly finished and empty. It still bore the signs of the craziness of the opening of the exhibit. Sparse minimally furnished it bore the marks of lead up to the exhibit. On the counter lay a stack of bills he plugged in his phone. The voice mail icon was lit, so he put the phone on speaker, then hit the play back button as he moved to clean up the little place.

“Jacob It’s your manager, we need to talk money.  Don’t mean to bother you but it looks like everything is coming down if we don’t figure something out, give a shout back and we’ll talk.”

Jacob knew the conversation was coming. He wasn’t rolling in cash to begin with, and the exhibit had been a gamble. Gamble he thought to himself, the financial risk of self expression, what a crazy world this was. Fortunately he had a few commissions to hold him over until he figured out everything.

The next message pause then

“Hello Jacob” the machine spoke with the voice of a young professional. “I calling on behalf of Mrs. Lombardi, I’m sorry to we will not be needing those pieces we talked about. We wish  you the best of luck, good bye.”

We that was it then. So much for the commissions, he really was broke. The other messages continued on, but none were of much importance.

Jacob was lost in thought he gathered up the stacks of paper that littered the counter, a stack and placed them in a drawer. The drawer closed with a certain definitiveness, with almost the silencing of a thought.

The last message come on, “hey Jacob” it was his manager again. “ I might have a something for you, the philharmonic has a spot open up last minute, I can get you in. it’s six weeks series with some travel. They start this week end so get back to me and let me know. Get that violin back in shape man. You’re back on track dude.”

Jacob went over to the sideboard where the leather violin case sat.

——–

The opening night of the philharmonic, conductor strode onto the stage before the audience. The audience erupted in applause. The conductor gave a short bow then turned to the orchestra.  The orchestra on his command played through a beautifully set, and just before the intermission, the conductor turned to the audience.

“We have a treat for this season. a new member of our orchestra  who’s’ with us this season. The great violinist Jacob.” The crowd bellowed in applause. When in died down the conductor continued. “ And for tonight he’s agreed to play us a solo, of interpretation, of his own.”

The crowd applauded as Jacob got to his feet, then room went silent as he started to play. The music started slowly but soon poured out violin. It came from his finger, dripping from his soul. The sound filled the hall as the four strings sung together. Jacob could feel the music, It sang of time alone, of moving to bring. His fingers moved up and down the finger board magically, like they always had.

As the piece came to an end, for a moment the room was filled with silenced as if the audience was in a trans and then applause broke over the stage. Jacob returned to his place and the concert continued. One of the violinist next to him nudged him and quietly commented

“Good idea, do something dramatic like that. They always love the pop classical, those uneducated people wouldn’t recognize a good violinist if he stood before them.” Jacob sat in silence, having nothing to say in reply.

The evening finally came to a close and Jacob returned to his apartment. He changed out of his tux, the night was quiet and cool, so he opened a window to let the air in. His mind was a swirl; he couldn’t quite concentrate on anything. He needed to relax. His finger tips were raw from the concert. He the concert went well and the direct assured him he was in. It would be a full schedule ahead, playing three times week. He would travel and play a few places abroad, hotels and taxi cabs. He remembered the anesthetic smell.  He had played well, but he knew he was far from perfect, the reaction was well, but he knew he wasn’t what they expected. He would have to concentrate hard to keep it up, to play at the level he needed to be.

He walked over to the bed side drawer and pulled out the pill bottle, he removed one pill, and held it in his raw finger tips. He knew the feeling the pill would bring, the slow pin prick in his mind, pull together his thoughts.  Just pin himself in place long enough to be the success everyone wanted to be. Take off some of his edge. And bring out the side that let him do what everyone wanted him to be. But then the tune from the concert hall moved through his head. The one the other musicians didn’t understand.

On the counter top was a schedule for the orchestra of times and dates, his mind scanned them. The violin case sat on the counter where he placed it when he arrived back at the apartment. He picked and held it thin his hands his finger tips, still raw opened up the case the golden instrument lay, lay nestled in the shell. He removed and played a few notes, the tune from the concert, his fingers moved instinctively on the instrument. And notes slowly came out, the ideas, were not what others would want, but they were his, the stream came, the little funny melodies purred out. Tune and time, it all came in a flow. He tried to play something else something structured. But his fingers wouldn’t do it. He changed tunes again trying to hit the beats and string the notes together.  He knew the music in his mind by heart. And they stood like judges, staring down from their bench, at his music. Tune he played was not theirs.

Maybe it was best if he stopped, let it go, take a pill and break his fingers from the silly melodies they wanted to play.

No. His fingers stopped on the hard fret board. The music stopped slowly he put the golden instrument back into the case.  Jacob could feel his hands trembling as he put the violin back in its case. His heart was beating hard in his chest. The tune inside was what he wanted. It was burning split that filled him.

His hands trembled as he reached the pill bottle. He a pill dropped into his hand. Held it silent for a moment and then slowly poured a handful. He could feel his pulse rise.

——

There’s a way the world works, a rhythm that moves the pieces into place. It moves like an invisible current, you can cross it or move with it, but only the insane fight it. But if one finds their destiny lies up this stream…. If one finds they’re rhythm inverse those around the them.

——

It was three days later that the large manager ended at Jacobs apartment. He was in a disgruntle mood.  After Jacob did not return his calls, the conductor, called him up. He tried to reach Jacob himself, but all his calls went straight to voice mail. He knocked on the door of the apartment, but only silence answered. After several volleys, he finally went worriedly for the building manager.

The apartment door opened slowly. Everything seemed in its place. Jacob’s tuxedo hung in the open closet, on the countertop was a pill bottle and a note.

“Dear Pete,” the note read. “I’ve gone, and I don’t think I’ll be back.  I’m sorry for leaving like this, but I had to. Please give my apologies to the maestro.  Best of luck –Jacob”

That was the last time people heard of Jacob the savant violinist. The sudden disappearance baffled the art community.

“He was very different” they said, “I always thought he was a bit peculiar.”

They talked over it for weeks, until a new concert series started and with the latest galleries opening the matter was forgotten.  In fact, it was less than a year, if you mentioned it; people barely remembered who you were talking about.

“Jacob?” They would say, “oh yeah he was a violinist or something.”

But in a city far away, among old boulevards between the industrial facades, there was a young street performer with a violin. And if you followed him, you could see him play on the street with a few other people. They would be here for a while, and then gone to some other place. The music he played was a little odd and made children laugh with amusement. For it came for one who no longer lived in the system, but dwelled outside, on the edge, between the breaks of logic and rationale. With the other little cogs that didn’t fit in, the ones who love to sing and dance with light.

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