Music is in the world with you. You’ve interacted with it, saw its face, held its arms, ran towards its heat. It’s been with you in those moments; the ones you want to remember, the ones you want to forget. Music has been your companion, your confidant. It’s been a secret keeper and a hand holder and a place where you can get lost for a while. In this short story music does all of these things and more.
I Think We’re Scared Again
The house is as quiet as it wants to be and it wants to be very, very quiet. It mimics the outside where the zombie apocalypse has taken place. Nothing out there but dead people and dead leaves. Everything wet and gray but shellacked with a fine, crystal finish. There’s a shine to it that reflects the sun. The silent outside makes the inside that much quieter. I am a bull inside its china shop. I stomp around in my slippers.
I cannot make breakfast in the quiet. I need something that will stir. After many phone calls they arrive. I buzz them in; singularly and in groups. I show them into the living room, kitchen, dining room and ask them to get comfortable. They begin their warm-ups. Guitars, harmonicas, and horns fill the house. I sigh, relieved there is noise.
I tell them to begin when they are ready. Show them the corner they can play in. I set up a few chairs so they can play sitting down if they want. I tell them to work out amongst themselves who will play first and who will play next and so on. One of the men tells me, “The Blues are patient and kind. We’ll all get up there. Don’t you worry.” It makes me smile.
As the music starts, I begin making breakfast. I pull random things from the refrigerator and set them on the counter. The pile begins to look like ‘a scramble’. I get to chopping.
The Blues are sad but happy. The music comes upbeat and deceiving while the words dig a melon baller into my heart. Every song tells me one of my truths. The living room and dining area are a sea of brown heads bobbing, shoulders swaying, eyes closed and open. Nobody is watching me make breakfast. There is a bedroom down the hall with its door open. All I can think is, “I hope the music is reaching back there.”