The storm was coming, you could feel it in the air, which was all pervaded by its presence, electrified and heavy didn’t give anyone to raise their heads, except for Glen Gold, who walked the sidewalk observing the passing by clouds how they wandered on the sky while blindly avoiding the passersby in a fast step through the crowded street.
He urged to go to the New York Concert Hall to catch a concert, where they had to perform The Brandenburg concert of his beloved Bach. Even thought he had the feeling of being late, he arrived quite before time to the concert hall, so that he could stop and calmly smoke a cigarette before entering the crowded lobby, full of people, mainly elder ones. He never understood why those, who were frequent concertgoers, for which one needs a fine ear, were mostly elder people, which are mostly half-deaf and so to speak with an ear already in the grave. He smoked in front of the Hall watching all the grotesque charade walking by, a serial of gentlemen dressed in monotonous evening blackness and covered with boring grey overcoats, a ashen-haired old lady with a gaudy-red comb, which with the same style make-up looked like an aged prostitute, a fat, loathsome lady with a to big one-piece of a robe which on her looked like a reckless white sheet, accompanied by a smaller, bold, opulent gentleman, another one, which discerned from the sameness of the other by an one-hundred years to old swallowtail, but even more because accompanied with a hundred years to young woman, dressed in a very short skirt an a deep neckline, and more and more of the same “good old society”, for which he thought, that the only good reason they existed was, that with their full pockets they made possible events such as this one. In a way he respected their deaf support to the music, a support of someone, who cannot fully enjoy what he loves but nonetheless persists in doing so, this was to him, aside of being grotesque, some kind of noble tragic quality of the rather deaf in the concerts
Still, he hated high society social events in general, and this kind especially, mainly because of the expensive evening costumes and presumptuousness with which they were worn: as if a good-looking dress helps listening and understanding music better! Regardless, the same Glen tended to be well-dressed on concerts, not only to conceal himself in the crowd: he dressed black to rend homage to the death of music, because in every concert, in every performance he heard the fugacity of her, that, in difference from a picture or a statue, at the end of the last tact dies in the echoing of silence. Every concert was for him a funeral, a ritual, at which people come dressed in the right way, these means respectful, but with wrong reasons: they sit there, in their dresses, to show them before and after the performance, instead of being warped in black in respect of the music.
Regardless, what he thought about the concert and the audience attending to it, but most of all about his role in it, had nothing to do with what actual happened, when a tousled, half-unshaved, just apparently tidy-looking young man was loitering around the entrance of the hall: people, especially older ones were staring at him with that look, “What is this kind of person doing here?” Because he was used to this kind of situations, he had himself a trick or to how to handle it: some time he was pretending that he was waiting for someone, nervously looking at the watch, then he went inside and whirled around like he was looking his balcony, even though the hostess downstairs already directed him to his place in the pit. When he walked all the hallways and staircases, each exactly for one time to not be looking too suspicious, that is what he though, even though nobody didn’t pay that much attention to this curious being circulating around, the concert hall grow already half-full and the lights were lightly darkened, so that he could enter relatively discrete and unnoticed.
The orchestra played, as usual, some casual notes to tune itself, and briefly the conductor entered, which was accompanied with a boisterously applause, in a way like the ancient Greek generals were accompanied to war by the shouts and clapping of their fellow citizens. True, the conductor is surrounded by a some kind of divine aura if you looked at him how in one single gesture of his magical rod lined up all the orcheststra, ready to obey to his commands, and when he brandished it through the air provoking the rumble of the corna da caccia, the hasty blasts of the violins, viols and of the violoncello, and all the other magical attacks, that only musical instruments can, do and toward which you cannot remain equanimus, if you only have a minimum of sensibility in yourself.
Bach’s melodies already at the first cadences overfled the hall, fast and plentiful as the water covers a valley when the thunderstorm descends from the mountains, so that everything, leaves, branches, bushes, even smaller trees are drawn with it. Glen tried to let himself to the music, it’s embrace, tried to descend to it’s invisible world in which only he could really feel at home, feel oneself, being expelled from his self, tried, because every time anew something pulled him out of the charibantic trans: be it a neighbor, who breathed to loudly from time to time or someone else, who coughed, be it a bad-catched tempo of a trombone, be it a curtly played note on a violin, all of which of course didn’t do any problem to the other audience. Malcontent as he was, he stretched into the scarlet seat, now already totally lifted from the music’s spell, he was contemplating the people around him, laughing by himself to those who listened carefully only in appearance, surprising himself because of those who remained so cold like all of Bach didn’t looked to be touching them, and despising those, who came only to dream a little. Only the younger public, the ones of his age more or less, which of course was the minority here, seemed to him like they could really sensitive to what he in his vaingloriousness typical of a musician reserved only to himself. When he looked at some of them, his heart did tremble, and in this moment he thought, totally against his usual narcissism, that there are others beside him, who could not just hear, but listen to music
While so contemplating the younger public, he sow the silhouette of one, her face in half-dark when she turned to her friend to slightly speak something in her ear. A dark-haired, slightly curled girl, totally caught his gaze and bound it to her, so that he spend the rest of the concert waiting her to turn again, so that he could take a better look to that beautiful image. But till the end she never did, so Glen remained focused on her wild hair tied together in such a way, that her swan-like neck reigned in it’s beauty atop of her elegant shoulders, and if she stretched her fingers to put a tuft of her hair back behind her ears, he attentively followed her move, every single movement of her fingers, the soft glittering of her rings, the whole hand which for a moment remained still on the naked shoulder, and then vanished back in the dark, out of his sight.
When the concert was over the unbearable silence of music reigned for a moment, which was, like always, interrupted by the public with a vociferous applause, perhaps because they can’t, cannot listen to it, Glen still remained seated still and stupefied gazed straight on, and only when the girl left her seat he came back to his senses. “She’s leaving!” he panicked when he saw her moving to the exit, and already he was forcing his way through the crowd, awkwardly staggering between people and chairs, all the same to him now, an obstacle on the way to her. She disappeared out of his sight for a time, but he found her in front of the main hall entrance, dressed in a white, gently dress, which was uncovering her shoulders and covering her knees a little bit, so that her tiny legs could discreetly fall in her’s simple but smart dove-color shoes. She was standing there, smoking a cigarette and waiting for her friend, who went to lift up their wardrobe, and Glen almost instinctively step toward her and addressed her without even knowing with what or how he did it, he just did. All that left a mark in his absent consciousness was her name, her beautiful name: »Hannah« he silently repeated to himself, and the girl, who heard it but didn’t quite understand, asked: “I’m sorry?” so that all again he couldn’t hear what she said, he just listened to her voice, her French or Arabic intonance of the “r”, the raising and the falling of the intonation. At last he started to talk reasonably, so that after a while, when her friend came and said she wanted home, Hannah wasn’t bothered inviting him to take an after-concert drink in one of the nearby clubs.
The two of them left a few blocks away to the jazz-club Nightingale, where they play sooth music, which doesn’t belong neither to high jazz not to popular blues, and where the locale never fill up over the border of a socially bearable limit. them This evening, like many others before, the darkened place was filled up with the presence of a regular guest of this club, a singer named Leyla, who with her voice was capable of calming down the most stir of the seas and of moving the most cold of the stones. The winding short-haired princess of the night in her long, bloody-red dress stood in the middle of the dark-wooded stage, ornamented with scarlet-velvet curtains, sovereign ruling between the sax, violoncello, drums and a synth: all of her band was despite their skills unable to catch up with her singing, while she melodically, slowly waved her tiny, pale hands as if drawing the images of her song:
In your hand, I want to be, in your hand,
I would like to be an other, all the time,
In my shadow, I draw your silhuette,
I see you, I reach out for you, to touch you.
I imagine you touching me,
I would so much like to please you,
And I would so much like to displease you,
I dream of living without you,
I dream of crying out for you,
But I only want to forget,
That you’re even not here.