A Heroic Life: Chapter I: Con Brio, Part I

By: Ivan A.

Edited By: Metrica


He was awake before the second chord even sounded, and he was up with his nightshirt off by the time the celli had finished stating the theme.  He dressed quickly, and trotted downstairs.  He ate quickly, hurrying to get no place in particular; it was Saturday.  As he rushed about he disturbed the lean, brown tabby cat that lived with him, and she proceeded to run about in a paranoid frenzy.  Once breakfast was finished he did his tie, and waited patiently for the end of the first movement of the Eroica symphony.


And he was off.  He flew quickly out of his little, two-story Northeastern house (to whatever degree a two-story house can be little). Which little, two-story Northeastern house was of no concern to anybody; they were all the same anyway.  As he dashed by he bade goodmorning [sic] to Miss Emilia, who was out watering her mint.

Finally, he got where he wanted to be.  A small bridge over an even smaller tributary, which flowed into the river that passed through the center of the city.  He lived in a little Northeastern city.  Which little Northeastern city was of no concern to him; they were all the same anyway.  At this bridge one could clearly see through the suburbs across to downtown, and the sun shined brilliantly through the crisp morning air, and the flowing water beneath let off a comforting, cool smell.  He spread his arms as if to embrace the dawn light, and closed his eyes because although he could see downtown, that wasn’t really what he was there for.

And, as he stood in this relaxed gesture of abandonment he heard the wilting, dulcet tones of a tenor saxophone coming from not far off.  In fact – he opened his eyes – they sounded like they were no more than fifteen feet away.  “Ted!” he called to his friend. Ted’s eyes were closed as he played, his sax seeming to bend and move with every blue note.  Ted finished and turned to greet him.

Ted wasn’t wearing shoes – as a matter of fact, Ted wasn’t wearing much of anything at all.  Ted was clad only in a turquoise bathrobe and striped boxers (atrociously layered in bright yellow and forest green).  But it was all right: nobody was likely to be frequenting this particular bridge at six in the morning on a Saturday.  Ted’s mat of hair was shockingly red (in that it was shocking that anybody would label that hue of mahogany “red”) and Ted’s skin was very pale.  Ted sported a stubbly beard, as if Ted always shaved with the goal of keeping it a perfect centimeter in length, and Ted’s legs were covered with a moss [sic] of hair closely resembling sporophytes thereof.

Pleasantries, exchanged, Ted returned to the matter at hand.  Something inaudible about “sweet tea” was mumbled before Ted returned the reed to his lips and began again to blow.  The saxophone murmured a mellifluous salute to the morning, like the duty was solely its own to call the city from slumber.  Ted’s melody flowed and moved, dictated by the rushing water beneath and the gentle breeze that rolled down from the two- and three-story houses nearby.  He (the man who was not Ted) slouched on the railing, only half paying attention to half the things that needed attention paid to them, when something in the water caught his eye.


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