05. Sound & Silence

18 September 2018, 21:01

This will be an entry of sound. Since arrival, his ears have been bombarded by it: the Chinese chatter (to which he stands, politely, trying to look like he understands), the god-awful squawking of whatever bird (he assumes it’s a bird, maybe a crow being assaulted) nests on campus, and the music (or podcasts, depending on the mood) he ingests when he can’t abide by the first two and needs something familiar.

There is silence, too. Like now: all he hears is a keyboard, the AC, and a few noises outside. Laughter, barking, honking. Okay, mostly silent. The only real silence exists in bed, with his orange earplugs expanded, blocking.

He heard another kind of keyboard next door an hour ago. A piano keyboard. This reminds him of his new responsibility at SCF—his audition was a success, and Josh plugged him into the rotation.

He wants to practice. He imagines a scenario where his neighbor lets him in and he plays a piece (River Flows in You or Für Elise, the two he has sort of memorized) to show what he knows. Then he’d be able to learn lead lines for worship or Clair de Lune, for which he brought sheet music.

Sheet music—that’s funny. He realizes, for the first time, oddly enough, that music is universal: the only language we all speak. Notes on a page look the same no matter who you are or what tongue you possess. Aha! There is common ground, at least between enjoyers and purveyors of music.


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