Thursday, June 20, 2013

Soundtrack: On Listening, In A Dark Time, To Barber's Adagio For Strings

It sounds like a ship is sinking in a great storm.

It sounds like an elderly man asleep in his armchair with a shoe box full of neatly organized medical bills in his lap.

It sounds like a brokenhearted man walking through the Luxembourg Gardens in the rain as the leaves fall from the trees.

It sounds like a black hearse making the turn onto a gravel road and disappearing into the fields as the camera pulls up and away and eventually reveals a desolate stretch of countryside and a farmhouse down a long driveway.

It sounds like an old woman with a garbage bag in her arms, walking slowly, slowly, slowly out to her car in a hospital parking lot as winter darkness falls.

It sounds like a man who has just lost his job, his wife, his future, sitting out on the front steps and running his hand again and again through his hair.

It sounds like a woman in an empty classroom, slowly erasing an immense blackboard on which she had written the one great dream of her childhood.

It sounds like a man who lives alone dismantling a baby crib and hauling it down to a storage space in his apartment building.

It sounds like a dog pacing in an apartment and waiting for the arrival of someone who is never coming back.

It sounds like a young man staring at photographs of his childhood and unable to identify or remember the smiling man with whom he is time and again pictured.

It sounds like an old man alone at a kitchen table, moving photographs around with his trembling fingers as if they were chess pieces, or like another old man in his basement, sitting in the darkness and watching home movies of laughing children.

It sounds like someone startled awake in the middle of the night by the memory of a betrayal, a lie, an act of cowardice, a child who no longer remembers the sound of his voice or his laughter.

It sounds like a taxi scattering leaves as a procession of mute solitaries creep along the sidewalks beneath umbrellas.

It sounds like a man alone at the edge of a forest, watching as one after another the last fireflies of the summer disappear back into darkness.

It sounds like a shattered boy and his dog, walking along a frozen river outside a small Midwestern town.

It sounds like the last hour of the last happy day of the last happy year.

It sounds like a quiet hospital room, a cluster of silent people huddled together at a bedside.

It sounds like buildings falling down, again and again and again, in slow motion.


  1. Damn, Brad. You make all the pretend writers jealous.

  2. Ahh, I had to invent a new word for this — fanbrillexcefultastic. Glad you are back, Brad.

  3. So heartbreakingly visual.

  4. No one's jar is more full of fireflies than yours.