The staccatoed wails and grinding moans haunt the empty street. The sounds lilt and rend, clawing for attention, purposefully the opposite of the peaceful evening. And, yet, it is beautiful and harmonious despite the discord. There is magic in the notes. There is the soul of a blues-man in the undertones of the harmonicas plaintive cry.
He sits with his back against the graffiti and shit stained bricks, the color of his hair lost in the grease and filth of his time on the street. His knees are tucked against his chest, and his bare ankles are barely discernible from the darkness regardless of the large gap between the hem of his worn pants and the top of his tattered shoes. The silver harmonica, however, gleams in the night, catching every stray beam of light that dared wander down the alley and passing it along in spirals of glinting rainbows.
The instrument is cradled lovingly in his tired hands, cupped against his lips, and passed back and forth in meticulous and precise movements. His hands play the role of conductor and bring the harmonicas orchestral sound to life to such an extent the very night around him seems to pause and take notice. His soul pours through his lips and gives the song its purpose and meaning. The music is a story, confusing and wonderful, of struggle and loss and pain and hope. The music is a story, transformed from misery to joy.
Hours pass, and the man sleeps where he sat, but the mournful vibrations of his blues continue to resonate in echoing calls up and down the alley. They peek around and corners and tempt passersby to stop and listen and heed the warnings of loss and life. They haunt the night and all who dwell within it, a constant reminder of all that came before and all that might one day still come, until the hint of day warms the horizon and then they wander into the shadows and quietly find peace.
There, in the forgotten places of brick and concrete, the music rests until night comes and the blues-man brings the harmonica out from his jacket pocket to once again purge the contents of his soul to all those daring enough to listen.
25 thoughts on “do you dare?”
Beautiful and poignant.
I’m pleased with this one… I’m not sure if that means I’m not challenging myself enough anymore, or if it is truly worth the praise.
You should be proud. It evokes emotion. I could also see this in my mind’s eye. It sort of reminds me of U2’s Bullet the Blue Sky – the saxophone plays and the walls breathe – except much more gritty and realistic.
A man breathes into a saxophone, and through the walls you hear the city groan. Outside its America. Outside its America.
I really like this one…..I can hear the music in this writing. Well done.
Thank you. I’m glad you liked it too.
Excellent writing, tight and focused, except my OCD side didn’t like the “shit stained walls” part, but never mind lol. PS Hub really liked your book and we’ll submit a review, can you send me the link again?
Link sent, thank you. I will admit, it is weird whenever a cuss word finds its way into my writing. I know you were commenting more on the state of the walls, but, either way it feels… weird. Apparently, that’s the only word I can come up with to describe it this morning.
YES, totally commented on the description of the wall, not the language. Obviously it was the right word, cos it was powerful and fit all the way around. Only, ick. 🙂
Yes, ick, I know and agree.
awesome… so dude/// are you playing game of war fire age? because there is a guy in here that has a kingdom called matticus
That’s not me! The imposter.
Is it really?
well I would have invited you to play in our alliance…
I’ll remember you are playing if I ever decide to check out the game.
but your name is already taken,,,
I have many names
Whenever I hear someone playing like this, I want to ask them what brought them to that point.
I live to read writing like this… beautiful, painful, mysterious, dark, but above all, musical. It’s just music. How can you say that you are lost as a writer when you can do this? I want to see this threaded through a larger narrative, made bigger so that we know the why – why is he doing this? Where is he going? How did he get here? I want to know those things.
Thank you for this comment, my friend. I needed it.
What you need to do is just keep writing, and accessing that dark place and embracing it wholeheartedly. Give that dark part a huge hug, then eat it and spit it out in word format.
Reblogged this on The Matticus Kingdom and commented:
The 10 year anniversary celebration continues. This post is from the third year of the kingdom and one of my very favorite bits of writing. What do you think? Did I capture the moment? Do the words go with the picture?