Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Bell Whisperer

There was a bell whisperer.

His name was Alex or Alec or something, and he had red hair and freckles and he was a bell whisperer. I heard it from a friend, or my brother, perhaps, or someone in his section was in my SAT class or had a sister that went to my synagogue. You've heard it before too, little shouts and murmurs about how much better the band was when he was here or how there was this crazy kid who was sick at the bells. The bell whisperer, he was called, because he could whisper to the bells and they knew what he was saying.

He played the bells, which already makes him a little weird because not many people played the bells, and he had red hair and freckles on his arms and he wore a black hat all the time that had an acronym on it that no one knew. His name was Alex, you've been told, and he was a bell whisperer who played the bells.

The bells are the instrument that you forgot when you were listing all the instruments in the marching band, even though they're bright and clear and you can hear them from the stands, that is to say you hear the music they're playing and you can probably identify which instrument is playing it, though you call them xylophones even though xylophones are actually made of wood and these are bells and bells are metal. Alex might have called them xylophones too, because even though he was the bell whisperer he was still a high school kid who rarely cared to distinguish between pitched percussion. I think there was a kid in his section who got angry when you called them xylophones, but the point of this story is more about the bell whisperer, and he didn't care what you called them or even if you acknowledged them. As far as he was concerned, it was just him and the bells, and even then he really preferred hanging out with his friends to playing his instrument. He didn't even read music, he just heard it and played it, which was miraculous unto itself but not why he was called the bell whisperer.

He had freckles on his face and on his arms and legs and he played the bells but that wasn't why he was called the bell whisperer either. He was called the bell whisperer because he heard the bells talk and he knew what was wrong with them and because during his freshman year he saved someone's life during a parade using a bell set and also he could fix them regardless of the problem. Whether a note was coming loose or a bracket was falling off and the bells were about to fall and the harness was about to crack he knew beforehand and he took the set and walked it back to the band room and fixed it and was back on the field before the number was done, and if he didn't have a screwdriver he couldn't fix the bells because even though he was a bell whisperer he couldn't just fix things that were broken without a screwdriver, so when he didn't have a screwdriver he would just march with the broken set and tell it not to break and it wouldn't, and the kid who got annoyed when you called the bells the xylophones just shook his head and laughed and said something about how good the bell whisperer was at what he did.

He had a black hat that had some acronym on it and no one knew what the acronym stood for and he had red hair that was really more orange and he had freckles all over the place and because of that you called him a ginger kid, but he didn't mind so much. He called himself a ginger kid, but this is less about how he was called a ginger kid and more about how he was called the bell whisperer, and the reason he was called the bell whisperer was because he could fix anything that was wrong with the bells and one year he saved someone's life during a parade because he knew the bells were about to get damaged and damaged bad and so he told his section leaders to put the bells up and they looked at him weird but he told them something was about to happen and so they did.

His name was Alex or Alec, one or the other, and he was the bell whisperer and also a ginger kid, and he had friends that were ginger kids and he was the funniest person you ever knew, or maybe the funniest person I ever knew, or maybe just the funniest anyone in the whole world ever knew, and he was called a ginger kid because he had freckles and orange hair but he was called the bell whisperer because he knew when the bells were going to break and because he knew in ninth grade when the bells were going to break and so he told everyone to put their bells up and the guy with the gun at the parade who shot at the band really didn't do any damage but hit the sophomore girl who walked in the back row who had the pretty hair but who was really quiet but she was fine because for some unknown reason her bells were up even though the band was supposed to be playing and the bullet hit the e flat that was right in front of her heart and bounced off.

He had freckles on his arms and a black hat and his name was Alex, as far as I recall, or as far as you recall, and he was the bell whisperer, which is good work if you can get it.

5 comments:

A-Frye said...

Woah....This is....the best.....story.....I've.....ever......heard. Sam, I worship the ground you stand on. Who was the "Sophomore Girl"? Anyway, that was ridiculously awesome in spite of the fact I don't really know anything about fixing bells but that's what makes it a somewhat fiction story I guess. It was Awesome!

Carissa said...

that was really good...

The Muffin Man. said...

teehee!

jeff said...

It's like a cross between Douglass Adams and Tim O'Brien's style of writing. More on the Tim O'Brien side, but there's a hint of Douglass Adams.

At least, that's what it seems to me, but this isn't about what it seems to me, this is about the bell whisperer.

Don't be creepy! said...

Awww! I don't really know what else to say, except that I wish the tubas had as much love as the bells.