Monday, February 4, 2013
She came every day, usually in the early afternoon. She'd say nothing, in fact sometimes I'd not even notice her until she left. She'd sit on the step just outside my control room door while I mixed music to spoken word at a hundred twenty decibels. I'd have thought it odd I'm sure, but I was lost in my own world. What moments weren't absorbed by my work were chewed and swallowed by obsessing my long list of tragedy.
That year my wife had left me, my mother and brother had died, my father had attempted suicide never having come to grips with losing his legs and my job had become untenable forcing me to give notice. I was far too busy dying inside to pay attention to a stray girl who'd wander into my studio now and then for what always seemed like a post lunch nap.
One day she stepped into my space and leaned into a counter top that framed my effects equipment. She was tiny, under five foot and thin as a pencil. Her face belied her age, (early 20s) but without it she'd have seemed no more than ten, and like a girl child she crossed her arms on the Formica and set her head into them, just looking toward me with brown eyes the size of the moon. I was in the middle of a mix and I was on a roll, I couldn't stop really; so I smiled and continued on for the rest of the six minutes I needed, and somehow, even with another person in my periphery I was still able to bring my spare thoughts to my sad hopelessness.
The silence, once I'd finished, was crushing. After a good subwoofer/tweeter pounding the ears take some time to recover and I closed my eyes for a few minutes, letting the reverberations of my work travel through my bones to ground as if audial lightning seeking the earth.
"I love what you do" she said; "how you do it... I come here sad, and listening to you work makes me happy."
I'd not heard her speak before; her voice tinkled like a wind chime, her words hung in the air as if crystalline rain. I couldn't help but pay attention.
"Thanks for not asking me to leave, for just letting me be here with you. You do make people happy you know."
And then she left as she'd come; quietly, without fanfare, almost imperceptibly. For the first time in what seemed forever, I'd taken my focus off my travails, and set it on another; perhaps an angel of mercy. I'd not simply painfully wallowed, but had given pleasure, however inadvertently. And for my gift, my nightmare had been set aside for just a moment, that I could share a breath with one who was not yet jaded beyond hope; one who reminded me there was more to life, than myself.