Number 10 of 25

[10]

“You always wanted to be an accordion player, but you never knew how to play something beautiful. The notes are all there in the book, but they mean nothing to you because no one ever taught you how to read music. You held the accordion with troubled hands, trying to figure it all out yourself, too afraid to ask. You have seen other instruments, but none like this; none who’s intentions were good but sounded sad. You played it where you couldn’t be heard, allowing you to practice suiting the tune to your thoughts without discretion, and it pleased you and made you sad. You then played outside all of the public transporting stations and other places that were hard to avoid, but even so, you were avoided. No matter the fashion you opened and closed your accordion, the people who passed you by would look, but could not empathize with your melodies. A few people would smile as they approached as they thought you were playing a simple, happy tune. But then you watched how their mouths turned to confused frowns when they realized you weren’t being cheerful at all. You reminded them of loss, of sorrow, of emotional times, and for that they did not like your music; they pretended to neither see nor hear you in their subsequent commutes and routines. Those same people instead gave their spare change to the one down the street singing the simple and the obvious. But, in fact, you had a day job and you never asked for their money- that was never your intention (its just what people assume when one performs on ugly and bare concrete). You always went home empty pocketed and you were glad about this. You would leave when your fingers hurt enough from revealing all the secret beats of your heart. Barely able to straighten your knuckles, you would close your accordion like a book. And then off you went, blending into the crowd as if never making a sound, though your accordion always heavier on the way home.”

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