Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The pianist

The pianist, a quiet man from Washington, contemplated what he would do after he gave up what he was born to do. Greying, slowing, he no longer relegated tasks to the future, when he would be greyer, slower. He was born to old parents who gave him the opportunity to be still and read, and through these books he learned that men a thousand years ago were no different from those today. In time, after he was alone a long while, and after his professional ambitions began to fade, he saw the dreams his passions had obscured. The pianist took to travel, looking for answers to questions that were never clear. He traversed the quietest parts of this country, moving between places where people found enlightenment, hoping to be inspired. There had been no inspiration so far, only a faint realization that his life was enviable, even as it came to a close. Men who helped him get around told him so, and he began to see the walls that separated these men from the lives they could lead. The force of this desire made him reconsider what he was doing, and how he was doing it.

But there's still the future to think of, he said, lighting up a cigarette on a musty morning in Goa. There are things he wants to do, but these are tempered by things he has to do. Right now, he has to play the piano.

Then he shrugged, and smiled, and did what men a thousand years ago did: he filed the dilemma for later.

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