I press on. With one hand under my robe I firmly grasp the neck of a priceless violin. The other I use to hold the robe in a desperate grip, the kind you use to hold a lover for that final moment knowing you won’t see them again for a time that is always too long. I had forgotten why I needed to leave so badly, but it needed to be done.
The dusty trail is all that I have known for quite some time now. I wander and I wonder as I wonder and I wander. Man I love that sentence. The trail seems never-ending. Of course it hasn’t been the same trail for all of this time but that makes no difference in my mind.
Maybe it’s time to stop deluding myself. I know damn well why I had left, and it wasn’t because of the romantic travelling fantasies that I’ve had my entire life. I was running. Running away from things that anyone else could handle with little effort. Or so I’ve been lead to believe anyway. My flair for the dramatic had laid its roots far too deep though, to the point that it was the primary cause of many major life choices.
It was the same old tale you’ve surely heard over and over. Yes, there was a woman. Memories of lying on an open hill watching clouds while my hand found hers for the first time, urging her to play me a song on her bass until she finally caved in and shyly played a jazz solo she wrote, making love while covered only by the light of the moon . . . These things constantly push their way to the forefront of my mind. Sometimes with my consent, sometimes without. Like a passionate kiss from an angry god they always leave me confused and hurt regardless.
Why things fell apart so quickly was beyond me. But alas they did. Disagreements turned into arguments, arguments turned into confrontations and confrontations turned into fights. Then I abandoned it all. Leaving only a spiteful note for her and an apologetic note full of vague explanations for my roommate with enough money to pay for a month’s rent I ran away from my problems. Given my approach it was probably safe to assume that everything was my fault. With that said though that’s my thought pattern towards most things in life.
Pawning off my expensive goods for some quick cash and leaving most of the rest behind out of convenience I departed for nowhere. Aside from clothing all I took with me was a cheap violin. Priceless not because of its monetary value, but because it was my first. You never forget your first love. I did sign the bottom of it though. If that act ever made it more valuable than any instrument made with a high level of craftsmanship . . . Well, it’s a fantasy I have. A common one I’m sure.
Years later and I find myself on a desert cliff somewhere in the great southwest. What makes it so great I’ve yet to experience. This is as good a place as any though. I survey the scenery in front of me. Still can’t decide if these things are better experienced alone or with the company of . . .
A tear forms as I remind myself yet again that the answer to that one is obvious.
With my right hand I cast off the robe behind me in a dramatic fashion. I pull the bow from a sheath I wear on my back over the shoulder. It feels like I’m an archer who just pulled out the arrow that will pierce the target of my desire. Which is excellent because that’s the precise reason I designed the sheath to begin with. Hesitating for a few seconds I take a deep breath and close my eyes as I position the violin on my shoulder . . .
The song I play is a song of my own concoction. A concoction of hope, love, sorrow and regret. I play to an audience of nobody. Even in my craft I strive to hide my innermost feelings from the world in fear of judgement.
After I finish I loosen my arms and let them hang by my sides. My violin gently taps my left calf as tears begin to stream more freely now. I stay like that for what seems like forever before sheathing my bow and re-donning my robe. I leave to go find shelter for the rest of the night.
I will continue doing this until everything makes sense. But by then my old life will be completely gone if it isn’t already. Maybe the only reason I keep this up is because familiarity breeds comfort. I await the day this cycle ends . . .
(Editor’s Note: After finishing this I didn’t feel like sketching a picture, so here’s something I pinned to a poster board on Barrington Street.)