Wacky Wednesday – “The Composer”

5 Sep

The composition is out of my control; it is perfect and I had nothing to do with it. I feel it every day, a mounting suspicion that I’m nothing more than a scribe. I’m the conduit through which this music drops forth into our realm, the issue of some unknowable cosmic entity with nothing to work with but a piano and the infinity of time. In this racket, the temptation to succumb to self-love is viscerally, damnably powerful. You make the music, they lap it up with glabrous tongues and slobber praise all over you, and you complete the simple equation: I did it, and they love it, therefore they love me.

This idea is completely alien to me; laughable and hateful and nauseating. Love, from others or from myself or from that inscrutable maestro in the ether, is a luxury I do not enjoy.

They love the composition, of course. They’d have to be deaf not to. No, that’s not right – Beethoven was deaf, for God’s sake – even if they couldn’t hear it they’d know the truth of it. It’s written there, sharp as electricity, on the faces of the rest. It’s a china shop, all tinkling glass and chiming porcelain, light and delicate as gossamer, the flutes and woodwinds tweeting their soft celestial melody; broken then by the rampaging percussion, a thumping bull-battery, august chords breaking against it like crashing black waves on a silver shore. An orgy of sound, transcendant, divine, filled with ringing harmony and shattering dissonance in equal measure. It’s too much, really. Overwhelming. From the looks on their mugs, it’s almost deadly to them. The mind is aware it is witnessing something far more powerful than itself; it is reaching out a trembling finger and touching the face of God, and the joy and terror are equally matched as they fight their way across their faces.

How can a man compare? How can I face them afterward, knowing what they’ve heard, standing meek and pale and fallible? What am I, unshaven and unkempt? I’m the fleshy pink doorman who waves them through into Paradise, and I don’t even extend my hand for a tip.

It is the music they love, not me. It rings through my head, it won’t leave me alone, but it’s not mine. And though I wrack my brain and starve my body and pace up and down this vile apartment until the floor is smooth under my tracks, I cannot think of a reason why that’s wrong.


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