Charlie giddy with nervous energy walks back and forth under the bright lights from the marquis. It’s been years since they’ve had a date night, but he’s hopeful that the magic of the symphony will rekindle the warmth in her heart. A light drizzle of snow glistens on the shoulders of his velvet blazer. The crowd, that only minutes ago flooded the entrance, has gone inside to claim their seats and only a few people sucking down the last of their fast burning cigarettes remain. A taxi screeches to a halt at the curb. Charlie opens the car door for Veronica, she tosses the driver a $20 and jumps out. Charlie smiles and she turns her cheek to him allowing him to plant a kiss.
They make it to their seats just as the lights dim. She pulls her cell phone out to turn it off and notices several messages. Scrolling through them, she reads a few. Charlie grabs her hand, tilts his head to her and furrows his brow. She elbows him, pulls her hand away and puts the phone in the other hand further away from him and continues reading. He makes an audible sigh and she turns it off. Charlie tries to wrap his warm soft palm around her hand, but she pulls away.
The curtain opens to a cellist sounding out a slow hypnotic and rolling rendition of Bach's Toccatta and Fugue in D minor. Veronica giggles a little because it reminds her of the old black and white film Nosferatu. Charlie knocks his knee into hers to shush her. "Just hold on," he pleads. The music reaches a minor crescendo, then abruptly halts. The stage goes dark and for a moment the entire auditorium is blanketed in silence and darkness. A single spotlight appears on a pianist who slowly and methodically plucks out the simple yet profound notes of Bach's Adagio in D minor. The loneliness of the single piano key being struck over and over again speaks to the human condition and every individual's ultimate solitude in life. At the opposite end of the stage, another spotlight opens on another cellist. The black-maned figure draped in black garments delicately holds the large instrument between her narrow knees. Pale porcelain-like face and hands emerge from gauzy layers of hair and fabric to masterfully work the bow over the instrument. Eyes closed, the fine slender digits of her left hand work the fingerboard while the other hand pushes then drags the horsehair across the strings mirroring each note on the piano. Both musicians' expressions reflect that otherworldly ecstasy that only music can bring. Delicate simple notes dance around the rim of the deeper rhythmic vessel that holds the audience in place. The two parts dance and swirl alone then elongate and come together creating a seamless piece that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Veronica closes her eyes allowing the music to enter her consciousness. The music grows louder, and she feels the vibration of the bow on the strings quiver in her chest. Her heart skips before falling in-line with the beat. Music fills the auditorium like thick smoke from a sweet cigar. She inhales deeply and relaxes her body for the first time all week. The impossible lengthening of the note from the bow lingers and Veronica swoons. She tries to understand, but cannot rationalize how the music touches the loneliest part of her. Like a deep dark ocean, she ebbs and flows with the melody, surfacing for a moment to gulp down a bit of normalcy, before being plunged down to where all of her tightly wound reasoning is torn asunder. She wallows in the depths of her isolation and loneliness.
The hair stands up on her arms and she feels a lump develop in her throat. Against her will hot tears flow down her cheeks and are swiftly cooled by the flesh that only moments ago was outside in the winter air. Charlie sees her tears and reaches for her hand again. This time she does not pull away. He knows she has surrendered to the magic in the music, and he knows he still has her love.