Now—only now, at nightfall—do I realize my mistake. Suddenly, as if discovering a new twist in an old piece of music, I can detect a certain note of stress, right there, from the beginning, the moment she opened with the phrase, “Bring me that thing from there.”
So I slow down the replay, and listen carefully to each one of these words—only to wonder about the other words, the unspoken ones, those that were missing, strangely, from the conversation. What thing? Where was there? Why would doing it be easier than having to explain? And how could I be so dumb as to miss the early, telltale signs, back then when she started forgetting things?
Simple things, such as the names of her students, and how to teach music, or play Beethoven's fifth. And later, how to put words on paper, and mail me a letter, and why not call me, why not tell me the truth; and how to talk to him, to my father; and most of all, how to forgive betrayal.
Ben in Apart from Love
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Volume I: My Own Voice
Volume II: The White Piano
Volume I & II, woven together: Apart from Love
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