Saturday, March 12, 2016

Here I am, dancing with air


In a blink, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Oh, I could breathe! I could smile again! He brought laughter into my heart, light into my gloom. 
And it was because of him—no, it was for him—that I broke the rules. On a whim I changed my plan and played something outside my regular repertoire. For him, and for all the soldiers there, some of whom may soon perish in battle, God Bless America. 
And with that I gave him the best of me, the only way I knew how: through music.
At the sound of it Ma fainted. 
She would never approve of him, never. 
I know it.
Instead she would tell me I’m too naive and too vulnerable, and the best thing I could do is to learn to control myself. 
Was she never young? Did she never feel this—this feeling that quickens my heart? It has no shape, no reason, and can be described by no other name but danger, and yet here I am, opening my arms to embrace it.  
I am in awe of what is happening to me. I am scared of it and at the same time, I find myself elated.

Until Ma wakes up I have the night to myself, and it is magical. 
I open the door and step out into the garden. Light rain is falling, and in each drop you can see a glint of moonlight. It is captured for an instant, and then, with a tinkle, released into a fine mist upon the dark, drenched soil. 
Rising to my tiptoes I lift my hands up to the height of his shoulders. I imagine him there, in the drizzle. He’s playing his invisible bugle. I can almost hear it, trembling in the wind.
Faithful forever I promise to be. I will wait for him, wait till he puts down his instrument and takes hold of me. 
He will be running his fingers down, all the way down to the small of my back, touching his lips to my ear, breathing his name, breathing mine. 
Here I am, dancing with air. 
Around and around we go.

Natasha in The Music of Us

It's incredibly hard to believe that this girlish voice, and the first love Natasha goes through, come from the throat of a man, and yet it's true. Having recorded this chapter, my narrator, Don Warrick sent me an email, saying, "This is the chapter that lets you know that soon, you will have to say goodbye to your friends." The end of the book, the end of us working together on this project, was only one chapter away, and both of us experienced great sadness, which resonates in the way he gives voice to her emotions. Around this time, Don penned an article for his blog, titled Postpartum Depression, which is the phenomenon actors go through when the final curtain falls. It was coming.



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