The Pianist

The follow up to Andromeda my love... Creativity is banned and thus all the artistic types are suffering. One man seeks to find an out.

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The screaming outside is making me nauseas. I literally feel sick as I hear the desperate cries for help out in the streets. The world is dark, and the stars offer no sanctuary for the wandering mind. Gunshots ring in the distance, and I can almost feel the unheard mourning of lonely, black-clad mothers, the silent entrapped in the black veils of their misery. I sit pondering, peering at the solitary flame burning in the centre of the room. The candle flickers as a gust of wind blows through the cracks surrounding the jammed window. Suddenly music fills the air. An unnervingly soothing sound that resonates through the empty, decrepit walls of the Morning Breaks apartment building. Amidst all the chaos, the total nihilistic bedlam raging outside, the clear tones dance in my ears. I see the green pastures of my grandfather's farm, the river that runs through his land. The skies are blue and the sun is shining happily upon my face. I am happy. Just as soon as it had started, though, the light, airy composition makes way for a deep, pounding symphony. The air is unexpectedly thick and cold as I find myself back in the cramped, broken down apartment I call home. An unexplainable darkness rests above my head, swirling and enveloping my thoughts. The screaming is back. The Massacre is still commencing. The merciless killings continue. The black cloud covers my eyes, and I see blood flowing. In the gutter is a child, barely ten, shattered skull open to reveal it's emptiness to the world. Oh, woe, is this the doom of creation?

I see no more, my eyes covered by the darkness. I open the door, stumbling blindly into the hall; I follow the sound of the music. Up the stairs I fall, and feel my way to a locked door. I bang on it with all my strength, feeling the wood warp and bend under my forceful entreaty. I bid thee to open this door! I scream, and shout. Insanity's cold hand is closing upon my broken mind, and all hope seems lost when I suddenly feel supple flesh upon that of my arm. Suddenly I can see, and the silence is once again filled only by the turmoil outside. I am greeted by the most graceful creature I have ever had the pleasure of laying my eyes upon. She wipes a stray hair out of her eye, and bids me welcome. Good evening. How can I be of help to you? Her smile causes my tongue to sit, and the words will not be spat, so I make my way into her sanctuary to find a marvelous place indeed. Sheet music covers every wall; from top to bottom the yellow, torn and tattered paper decorates the sparse apartment. In the centre of the room, among some admittedly impoverished items, a big, black piano stands. So beautiful is this instrument of joy that it overshadows everything else, even the beauty of the young woman whose hand still rests upon my arm. Uh, I seem to be at a loss of words this moment, and my memory will not allow me to recall the reason for my being here, but I am assured that the motive of my visit is that piano resting there. I say pointing to said piano. In blank apprehension she stares at me, her perception painting the picture of a mad man. Why, I would presume the worst from a man barging into my humble home so atrociously urgent as you, but I am calm with the knowledge that my music has called many a being to seek me out, but never to the extent of maiming my door.

My memory swirls and in my minds eye I see the black cloud again, my emotions physically manifest. I see myself stumbling blindly up the stairs to this door, and the reason for my visit is once again remembered. Your music stirred something within me, something so long dead that it was both terrifying and beautiful, but once again it has sunk to the recesses of my blackened soul. Can you per chance assist me in my endeavor to feel alive again?

Her face shows no emotion, but her eyes pierce my heart as I perceive the melancholy that must be entrapped in this stunning creature. It is often wrongly believed that the beautiful are always joyful, but alas, this is a horrible misconception. How sorrowful the heart of a fallen angel must be; entrapped upon this earth, bound to human nature and their neurotic distrust of everything. How doleful the heart of beauty, to be despised by the common filth and scum of the universe, to be abhorred by all who do not share its grace and elegance.

I will be happy to my good sir, but my heart yearns to rest. Perhaps one day when the world wearies me not? Oh, how true the axiom, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'. The forces of evil are once again deterring me from the bliss that could be my life, this jaded girl, scorned by the world, angered by it's transgressions against her, and because of this weariness she refuses to aid me in my search.

But young lady, you know not what distress my current plight causes me, this incessant, swallowing darkness that threatens to consume my empty, black soul. Your music has touched me and transported my minds eye to a world long gone; all I ask is a song. Her eyes threatened to devour me, her mouth agape she seemed to ponder my situation. After a few moments pause she hesitantly spoke.

My dear fellow, I am well aware of the trepidation and twilight you speak of, for I too dwell in this shadow, this decimating evil that threatens to destroy me with each inhalation of this rotting death.

Our eyes convey the deepest part of our message. She understands, but yet is unwilling to render her time and fingers for my well being.

Time passes away, and with it parts of my soul. I yearn to travel once more, through time, space and logic, back to my youth. It has been five silent days, five torturously silent days. The air is still filled with the screams of the dying as the Liberation Action of the United Entities continues. All persons who exhibit signs of genius are to be taken away, as the rest are cruelly slaughtered. But woe, their perception of genius is limited to the following of rules and regulations, strict compliance to laws and severe planning. There is no place for freedom and creativity on this rigid, cold, blood-drenched piece of rock. I wish her fingers would dance once more, enlighten me. The children are always the first to go. I hear a mother screaming for help. Don't let them take my child! God! Hear my cries; deliver us from the hands of our oppressors! Oh, ye of little faith. She knows that her actions are in vain, and that is exactly why they are. I have long ago given up on beseeching God to save me, for I know that my faith is lacking, I comprehend that I am but a worm dwelling in this putrid pit where hope is a myth better forgotten at infancy. I do not however deny any man, or woman, or even child for that matter the right of faith, or a relationship with the creator, the almighty, living God who sent His son to hang on a tree for our iniquities. I do not deny them salvation; I have no right to do so. I do, however retain the right to realize and understand that my over-calculating mind causes me to doubt and succumb to eternal death.

I spare a thought for Andromeda, the girl who dwells above, in her sanctuary where the light does not enter the painted windows, for they are the windows to her soul. For five days I have not slept, weeping only. I am breaking apart, falling to pieces. If only. The pills bid me swallow, and I wish to obey. With hands shaking I open the bottle, Death's footsteps echoing in the empty halls. He knows my time is soon. Rhythmically, matching my heart beat, he approaches, as I start swallowing one capsule after the other. I get to three when I hear the fickle, fleeting melody trickling down the walls, threatening to drown me in pure ecstasy. I spew the contents of my sorrow-lined stomach upon the floor, and run towards the cheerful sound, guiding me to the door of Andromeda once more.

The door is open, and she sits at the piano in an almost trance like state. The song filling her apartment is the most beautiful I had ever heard. Her eyes are closed, and she sways from side to side as her fingers dance across the keys. Black, white, black white, white, white, black, a minor chord, and a impressive display of dexterity leaves me dazed. The song is fast, and ends abruptly, much as life does. Shocked and shaking she recovers slowly, her eyes opening at a easy pace. She stares at the floor, where her foot rests next to the sustain pedal. Five days.

It is amazing what can happen when inspiration strikes. I survey the deep wound at the side of her head. For five days I was out, in a deep sleep. My muse took me to a place not of this world, a place where joy is true, and love is not a fallacy. You and I, or at least our identical counterparts, were to be found their living bright lives not intruded upon by loneliness and desolation.

How marvelous! Simply astounding, I must say. I found myself speaking to her, my arms resting on the flat, narrow top of the piano. She continued, ignoring my unnecessary encouragement. When I came too I immediately fell down upon the seat, I immediately fell too it, and found myself transported back to this gay place, so tragically beautiful the fact that I could not dwell there infinitely.

Oh, how I wish to see this world with my own eyes! As a scientist I had heard many a times of inter-dimensional travel, usually through scientific means, but as a philosopher I found myself teaching the possibilities of Man. The human mind, as proved by the fact of Andromeda's marvelous song, has much potential, and the though struck me that I had much work if I was to use this potential constructively. What if I told you that their might be a way to travel to this world? A way to go and reside there eternally?

I would be amazed, and would be willing to sacrifice everything for a chance to grasp this opportunity. I applauded the intensity of the moment, and started dancing uncontrollably, laughing with unrepentant joy. Well, so be it! Andromeda my dear, we are going to crack this equation, decimate this dilemma, as it were! With your music, and my mind, the grace of God reckoned into the solution, we will unlock the potential of the human mind and bend it to our benefit.

What in the name of all holy and profane are you going on about my dear sir? You seem to have lost your mind, do you feel unfit? Oh ye of little faith.

No my love, I am fine, it is your mind that is in need of dire restoration. Let us question the laws of physics and find a way to our beloved world, where we will be allowed, and even encouraged to live out our creative destinies.

With innocent, nave eyes she questioned my sanity, but after a few more hours of explanation and cunning she finally agreed to join me in this search for happiness, and so we went. What will the future hold for us and our kindred spirits? What will the destination of our breed be? Only time will tell.

I am deeply disturbed, completely insane, absolutely perturbed by the lack of compassion in this stained and broken world, where the shards of human nature slit the wrists of mercy and love. There is no life left in living, everything becomes a matter of routine and regulation, follow the laws of your ancestors and question nothing. Today I saw a youth slay one of his own, he shed the blood of his kin without a second thought; the putrid flesh hanging in the street stands testament to this gruesome ignorance. What may I ask was the reason for the poor child's demise? Why did Death have to rip the final remnants of the mortal coil, rip him away from this world? The most disturbing part isn't the death of a young one but rather the fact that I knew the said youth, a rather quiet boy whose most violent deed was the opening of paint cans. What did this youth do to deserve death?

He was an individual; he did not conform to the rules of the establishment, the bourgeois ways of the United Forces. When they said jump he did not leap blindly into the unknown but rather asked reason. His thoughts weren't condemned to a lonely grave but because of this he was. Thought is a dangerous concept when logic is king. It is the scourge of the despot.

The blood of bohemia paints a mural on the wall of oppression, the wall that forces us to dwell within the restrictions of those who don't understand. If only comprehension of the human condition had been made a compulsory part of life, would we be facing this dilemma? If we had been forced to investigate and research our fellows, would our earth be in this state? With the abolishment of freedom of expression and art many of us chose to retreat into the darkness of the Soho Slums, forced to retreat and rot away, hungry, freezing, unclean, the leprous scar on the face of society. At least we were happy, content with the freedom our dementia had provided, happy in our neurosis. We were free to be ourselves in the unregulated, unmonitored slums, the underground as it came to be called. We were, until small bands of propaganda-brainwashed patrols forced their way into our society forcing immediate compliance or death, and so it came that the great Liberation Action came into being forcing many a bright young spark to be consumed by the maw of the oppressor, but I digress.

Andromeda has been spending much of her time alone, secluded in the darkness of her sanctuary. Once in a while you can hear her tinkering on the piano as she transposes my calculations into musical notation. There's this feeling in my gut, a feeling that makes me writhe with pure, unequivocal joy. The breakthrough is near, I can feel it. Someday soon we will dance with joy through the open doorway to our Bohemian Paradise.

I survey my shabby room, the meager possessions, the filth, the brokenness of it all. This soon will change. I sip the herbal-tea resting on the arm of my chair, staring into the black-hole outside my sealed window. This world is at its end.

Time passes terribly slow, tormenting me, the hands of the clock playing an endless game of cat and mouse. Sleep eludes me, I am a man obsessed. The erotic cry of the piano caresses my heart's strings as I come undone, giving in to tears. I weep uncontrollably. Oh, how I long to touch her, feel her lips upon mine, our bare souls meeting, becoming one. We are so close yet so far apart. Just a flight of stairs and I am at her door, yet I cannot get myself to call upon her. In dreams I whisper her name, and often scream as the futility of my love for her sets in. Her muse comes and goes, sometimes leaving her for dead. She is covered in scars and bruises. Inspiration strikes often and I fear it might be her end if she doesn't take rest soon. Working, day and night, curse my fertile mind for ever conceiving the notion of escape from this pit of despondency.

The music stops, and so does my heart for a moment. I hear the beat of feet upon creaking stairs, and moments later there is a banging at my door. I jump from my chair, opening the door with due haste to find a haggard, unwashed looking Andromeda standing their, covered in sweat, blood on her brow. Her smile is overwhelming, and I succumb to its contagious charm. I have accomplished what we have set out to achieve! She grabs me by the hand, and for a moment I am shocked to silence. She drags me up the stairs and within seconds we are inside her room. The sensation of raw electricity is overwhelming. In the centre of the room, atop the piano, is a rift that seems to be perturbing the very essence of existence with its vacuum. I stand aghast with gay terror, I feel her hand upon mine, and I turn, pulling her to me and kissing her fully on the lips. Our mouths part and I find myself shouting You've done it! My dear, you have surely done it!

But, what happens now? The question has barely left the shelter of her mind when I take her hand. Approaching the portal, I kiss her once more, pure electricity coursing through my veins, we jump into our future.

The music resonates through our small, comfortable house. Herbal tea brewing slowly in a pot, the aroma of tobacco lining the stone-hewn walls, I sit staring out of the window at the still lake. The birds join in song, and I fall asleep.

There must be a God. Must be!

Happiness is only a leap away.

Copyright: Andre Darius Labuschagne (22 August 2008)

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