A story by Robin Wijers
I rarely missed a performance. It was just one of the highlights of my week, perhaps the only light. Technically, a week contains seven days - mine contained seventy, although in terms of actual achievement, perhaps seven hours. It was good to get away. Good to smell the fresh breeze, the scent of newly mowed grass, the rhythm of melody replacing the ruthless monotony of engines. And her - yes it was good to get away.
There she rests seated once more. With a flute in her mouth she blows rhythmically, hard. With her in the vicinity I can only apologise as my prose is destined to dematerialise into third-class innuendo as her mystifying lip movements continue. As I write this, my hand is already trembling and had this piece not been typed out it would appear like nothing more then a mesh of illegible jargon. Perhaps it may have been a safer gamble, immediately ruling out any damning information for those seemingly inevitable future court appearances. "Can I control myself? Can you? Seeing her in front of you now, can you really control yourself? Without the constricting consequences, would you resist? In fact is anything apart from public opinion and fear of a prison sentence chaining you from outing your lust?" "Excuse me sir, but you are obviously discussing your private depravity with the wrong man. May I observe that you are indeed a very dirty individual and should you lay your depravity on any of those lovely young girls, may I add probably twenty years your junior, I would hope that you would be immediately brought to justice. Good day to you sir". (exit ridiculous twat)
That's good, the whole bench to myself now, scaring away the tourists always seems to carry with it, the sense a minor victory, wouldn't you agree? In fact, she looked over at me there! I swear she did! With that stunning look in her eyes, that glow, that youthful exuberance. Her name? After all these weeks I still don't know. "Excuse me missus, what's the name of your daughter...Why? Well I wanted to put a name to such a magical rendition of The Marriage at Figaro, plus I immediately need her to engage in some passionate hot monkey loving". No, it's not really advisable. But does it really matter what she's called? Names often turn out to be horrifying disappointments, what if her name was Hulga? Sam? Peg? Would it be possible for me to ever live down the shock? (Of course, should I ever enter my recollections of this event into a short story competition, safely under the genre of fiction, no offence was intended should any of the adjudicators have been christened by any of the three particular names I have mentioned. In fact I was once fortunate enough to sleep with a female by the name of Hulga - is it my fault I find gorillas sexually attractive).
I love the park. At the end of the day, it's one of the few zones where it is possible for all society to meet. For example, the odds of ever crossing paths with that comical man who was just sitting beside me, in my workplace are incredibly minimal. The type of man who speaks a little in this fashion, and can proceed to do so for numerous hours with little progress in the transmission of information, whether during the sun-drenched sunny afternoon, the dark hours of a very dark night, the morning rays of a new day, the sun-drenched sunny afternoon of the following sunny day - am I making myself totally comprehensible, or would it be rather more comprehensible if I were to explain myself in a more detailed manner. Yes, it would be rather unlikely to meet a person from that walk of society in a meat factory, the type of career where only the alliterational advantages seem to carry any value. A lady now chooses to cautiously sit beside me, 'her' little puppy on a leash in total dependence upon her mercy and should her fur-coat-clad body ever feel the need to exhale its wrath, only one possible outcome awaits.
I've always wanted to finally quit my job, finally make a beginning, finally enter a rhythm of progress freely leashed around by my obsession's sweet music. Perhaps I could write a few more short stories similar to this, perhaps I could even write a novel, yet in order to finance such a bold step and make a serious attempt would require searching for another job, with little appearing on the horizon but the same. A career, even a part-time job which may carry with it some inspirational value, work in a library, a bookshop even, but there's little hope for this man who left school at 14. Now I wait. What for? Anything! Almost any other job whatsoever in fact - or her! Any release from the cutting and chopping and dissecting of living beings - or her, any substitution of some creativity for the on-going destruction - or her. But can there really be no escape? Does the circle really have no gap?
She looked at me again! Until now, love had always been oblivious from my nine to six life. If only I had met her, or her equivalent at that age (if such a goddess could have existed) if only the meaning of my life, my destiny had been presented to me then. Her strawberry blonde hair glistens in the late spring sunshine as her misty blue eyes draw downward circles, reading her music and lighting up the entire bandstand with her misty, mystifying glance. Her naked legs, so white, seemed to call me, partly obscured by her lyre but still as inviting and every time she turns a sheet of music I may catch a quick glance up her dark-blue skirt. And every time she throws back her shoulder length hair, signals seem to light up within every cell of my ageing body. Her breasts are small, but so is she and would grow but pray not too much. Yes, stop right there! Of course she's not the only girl on show and far from the only one of note. In fact it's probably advisable that I don't describe what I would actually love to engage in with the girl bearing a trumpet, two to her left, should this 'fictional' manuscript ever be found and used as evidence against me. But the other four girls just seem to be missing that extra sparkle that separates the attractive from the dazzling, the nice from the mesmerising. Yes, for me there can be only one - one escape, one saviour, one haven.
It's mostly her glance. Her eyes seem to suggest a paved path to a better life, a better existence, a gateway to freedom. Her sweet music, now Bach, with its sometimes simple progression, seems to lead me there. Everyone else, pocketed around one of the city's many public parks also seem attentive to her every move, as she dazzles into a dizzying flute solo, although presumably simply in admiration and respect rather then secret obsession. She smiles. Perhaps she loves being the centre of attention, perhaps she adores being immortalised in my descriptions of her. Can she never get enough attention? Or is she simply disguising her dominance under the illusion of a game?
The lady who had been sitting beside me now arises as the five young girls stand up and take a bow to more applause. Stunning. I let out a quiet sigh, in the knowledge that a new week is on the horizon, the same new problems, the same new hazards greet me and I must remain in a lock of silence for yet another seventy days, counting down the hours till my next afternoon lost in a utopia of musical bliss. "Well done Helen", the lady says tenderly, as she leads what is now apparently her daughter back to her car "I admit to finding two or three faults and a little work must be done in order to rectify those mistakes, if you'd just put in a little more effort I think you could manage. Anyway don't worry about your performance too much - just look on the bright side - there's always next Sunday".
As the scattered spectators leave - back to their suburban houses, their families, their secure jobs and return to their life - I remain seated, still in awe, following my obsession's every move into her mother's Mercedes. I think about following her, I think about it again. I think about getting into my battered down Ford Fiesta and following them on my quest for serenity, but I can't. No, for me the anticipation of Godot's arrival will have to stay in postponement for yet another week - still there's always next Sunday!