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  • She talks about the songs as if they were little girls, when she starts to play I remember why. Her fingers, dancing across the keyboard, tickling the keys, scratching, pinching, making them laugh, whine, wail, cry out. Bent over the instrument, she is creating a drama about to capsize into a tragedy.

    Her hands, so pale, so slender, and the auburn hair that always makes me think of October, colourful trees and strong winds, burning cheeks and open fire, beating rain. Just before the frost sets in, just before nightfall, she lowers her voice. All little girls ought to be in bed by now, but not this one, it is refusing to turn in, this little, obstinate, wailing song that may once have been recogniceable, a lullaby, the memory of a childhood, not mine. Her voice turns inside out, did she just miss the key, the beat, she did, she lost her pitch, and the rest of the song falls apart.

    I don’t want to remember it, don’t want to think about it, I don’t want to picture her looking puzzled, surprised, appalled. She tried to pick up and move on, another beat, another melody, she attempted to improvise, but improvising was not her thing, it never was. Always a perfectionist, she would stick to what she knew, she would never go on a spree, allow herself to let go, to lose her footing, to slip, not her.

    She looked down at her own hands, they ran wild, dashing over the keys, unbridled, she couldn’t control them, her fingers could not be tempted to resume a recognizable tune, she was unable to subdue them, they were wild and untamed, naughty, disobedient, defiant, insisting upon a life of their own. The bass-player came to her rescue, guiding her back to a melody she knew well, a tune she couldn’t miss, a safe pitch, a simple and harmless song. Damage control. No harm done.
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