Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Love Stories

Jonah falls in love with a girl who plays flute. Love is like this, and I'm sure we'd like to explore this part for a while but it can't be what our story is about. All we need to know is Jonah falls in love with a girl who plays flute, flute, flute, which I guess is an excusable offense if you're in love.

In his dream, Jonah is in the very middle of the ocean with nothing to hold on to. He isn't drowning, but it doesn't matter - he is without reference point, lost and alone, head barely above the sea, the water a steely blue-gray and the sky overcast. It is hopeless, but he treads water anyway, his breath desperate and ragged.

You can put your fingers right on top of other instruments, you can get a feel for them, or at the very least it doesn't matter a whole lot where you strike them; with the bells, you have to hit a target the size of a Snickers bar from 8 inches away without looking. I want you to understand this: when you play the glockenspiel, you are dropped in the middle of the ocean, you have to distinguish between every wave, there isn't room for error.

Jonah talks to his best friend, who tells him: there isn't an instruction manual, Jonah. Just talk to her, or don't, or, you know, do something. Stop acting like we all aren't drowning out there. I can't be your flotation device. This is very typical coming from someone on drumline.

Jonah joins the marching band, and he learns that it's possible to get through all this stuff without the reference points but that it takes a lot of practice.

He practices.