Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Thunderous Glamour Of Batteries

“What are you doing?”

“I’m putting in fresh batteries.”

He asked, “Does it matter?”

She said, “When people write songs, pop songs, they usually try to make them two and a half or three minutes long. With new batteries I’ll be able to play quite a lot of songs.”

He asked, “Does it matter?”

She looked around. As far as she could see in all directions, everything was flat. But flat like a parking lot. Not completely flat, but kind of undulating. Little depressions. Little rises. Little bits of jagged edges jutting up here and there.

She said, “It’s not windy now, but when the wind blows, it makes whistling sounds blowing over the little bits that stick up. And sometimes you can hear thunder off in the distance. There still seems to be a place for noise. If there’s a place for noise, maybe there’s a place for music.”

He stood up, looked around and sighed. He walked away.

She watched him, and in the bright sunlight her eyes were drawn to his shadow on the ground next to him as he walked away. The shadow was an outline of his form, but the edges of the outline weren’t straight. The edges of his outline curved gently on the ground because the ground wasn’t quite flat. And jagged bits of ground introduced sharp edges now and then into his outline.

She smiled. She pressed the On button. She struck a chord.

In a soft voice, she sang:

This world makes our shadows
More interesting than it makes us
But sometimes the wind blows
And it makes us sound glamorous

She paused, thinking. She wanted to get the rest of the chord progression, and the rest of the words, just right.

She stopped playing and singing to think, but her body kept time, swaying slightly forward and back in the tempo she had been playing and singing. Her shadow moved, too, uneven on the uneven ground, but she didn’t notice because she was thinking about her song.

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