Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Doodle of the Devil Blowing Bubbles

Every picture needed horns, and he wanted to be the hand that distributed them. He realized his realm of influence in that regard had its limitations, but his elementary school made a habit of telling children that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to--no matter how improbable. As a result, he earnestly believed he could sketch horns onto every political figure in every textbook, onto every portrait of every composer reprinted in every program for every concert band performance, onto every smiling child on every box of girl scouts cookies, onto every author's photograph on every book jacket wrapped around every book in every library or bookstore, onto every poorly sketched stick figure in every bathroom stall in every truck stop across the country. For now, he would have to settle with this particular program, content with defacing this idle giant as that gentle beast gazed over a landscape somehow meant to signify the accompanying piece, but eventually he would need to expand, would need not to regulate his art as a means of contending with boredom but as a militant expression of disdain for a horn-less society.

He could not recall how far back his art went. Possibly, it stretched all the way back to his disinterest with junior high text books, but it was revitalized recently with each successive band performance he had been forced to sit through in the name of love.

How little he cared for Bach! How much malice he bore for Haydn! They, too, needed horns, but their pictures had not been provided in this program. Only the solitary giant--tranquil--overlooking an empty field, dejected. No, not dejected ... but seemingly so. He could hear the music as well, felt the strings slipping underneath his thick skin and holding his body captive. Bach would not let this poor beast escape. As he filled the horns with the blackness of his pen, he could see that German bastard laughing in hell as the giant sat upon that cliff, eyes filled with longing. He found himself bothered by how much he related to this monster--not monster--this giant man. Guilt swelled in him. Such a lonely creature, a solemn man such as this, did not deserve horns nor did he deserve the flames also sketched behind him. He deserved fun, something to pass these lonely hours until the field was filled with life again, and she came running from backstage, wrapping her arms around his neck and asking anxiously,

"How did I do?"

As the band reached the coda, he sketched bubbles around the man, drifting through that solemn air and up toward God, Himself. How pleasant, then, did that giant seem--horn, fire, and all.

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