I was a child prodigy. I started taking piano lessons when I was 3 years old, and I showed promise by the age of 5. By the time I was 7, I’d won some local competitions and had some appearances on tv. I remember playing for a couple morning shows. My parents were my managers and got me concerts with famous orchestras. By the time I was 10 I was a touring pianist and was hardly in school. I wasn’t unhappy. I loved playing the piano and I loved the attention from audiences and my parents. I thought I would be playing the piano forever.
Today I heard a round music. The pencil crossed over itself and drew a circle to ensnare me. A chime rang through. The earth was a perfect sphere. The air formed a perfect cone.
Yesterday I heard a sharp music. The chalk grated against the wall and broke itself in half. The needle etched a diagonal line. The dust was filled with broken glass. My ear filled with distant screams.
Tomorrow I will hear a perfect line. Forever it will repeat itself and will always be the same. The growing vine will appear round as a ball and shade me from the rain. A word will emerge in the distance, farther than the eye can reach.
I once saw a bright spark in William’s eyes, a purpose wanting to be spoken, how bright his eyes shone, and our world so dark, his spark drew moths and critics so he dared not speak. Smouldered so long in the pit, it eventually grew faint, an idea at the edge of memory, nearly forgotten, its forgotten name, an object that occurred outside the body, away from his self, my eyes could not see where. There was an opening for a carillon player in Hamilton, many years later, as some weak apology against the sins of poor timing, its cruelty. I asked him about it, would he apply himself, take up a different fate than that which had come to him by accident. His eyes searched the distance, the spark’s new home invisible to him, searched, as if the light in the distance could be his. He thought, and decisions were always hard to make. The progression of time weighed on him, as his spark once did, a burden of existence, broken, as we are from our trials. The ground wept with realisation, we must age unlike it, and with it, we change faces though our lives cannot change, our passage inevitable, told to us through stories since the beginning. A semblance of control brightened the spark, then died. I left him after we ate and nothing had changed, but the ground a bit damper than we remembered, our feet a little heavier, our joints harder, our eyes dimmer.