Fishing in Beirut

May 14, 2010

Part 8: Te Quiero (scene 17)

Filed under: Character : Johnny, Part 8 : Te Quiero — fishinginbeirut @ 07:43

Johnny sat there, tuning. It was an empty square. He assumed they were all spooked by that explosion, tourists and natives alike. The sound of the strings echoed off the concrete and glass.
He had only heard about the bomb two days afterwards. He’d been sick, huddled in bed, some ugly spring flu. It wasn’t until he’d ventured out on the streets that he’d seen the newspaper headlines. He’d been cocooned away, oblivious to the splash and its ripples.
Perhaps it was this absence that significantly lessened the magnitude. He’d missed the initial shock and terrifying reports. Thus, when he finally became aware, it was not so overwhelming, not so strong. Montparnasse was an area he rarely if ever visited.
He strummed a C chord, but the B string was still out. It needed to be flattened by the slightest degree. He played a progression of C, G, Fmaj7.
There is a town in North Ontario,
Extreme comfort, memory, despair.
And in my mind, I still need a place to go,
All my changes were there.”
It was fascinating to sing this song to absolutely no one. A piece of paper skitted along the ground. It blew closer, and revealed itself to be nothing. Just a torn off segment from the classified section of some rag.
Suitable apartments had been ringed in red by the owner. He stretched out, picked it up, and scanned the page. Various pricey possibilities were circled and ticked.
Johnny let the paper blow on again. It rested for a minute beside him before crawling down the slope. He massaged his forehead with his fingertips, moving down to rub his eyeballs and the bridge of his nose. His cheeks felt coarse, like unpainted brick or sandstone.
Lorena once said melody is human duty. The rhythm in your step and the lilt in your voice are your own. It’s impossible to live unmusically, so therefore a choice exists between flowing purity or low atonal drudge. Johnny considered it a fanciful idea, but not an irrelevant one.
Curious noises became audible, like a hacking cough. He listened carefully, this desperate bronchial sound shredding through the air. It rose and fell, stopping and starting, wrenched misery escaping from a stranger’s soul. Somebody in the neighbourhood was doubled up getting sick.


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