Hello once again. Today, although it is a short story, is actually very heavily based off of a poem written by Lang Leav, entitled, Sad Songs. Lang Leav is known for her book of poems: Love and Misadventure, Lullabies and Memories. Each book contains a collection of different poems with ranging themes, and the poem that so happened to spark a chord within me was Sad Songs, though there were many. This short story is very much a retelling of Sad Songs to the very core, so don’t expect the core plot to be any different, it ends the same way, and it has many encompassing ideas. Though, what is different, is the presentation and how I decide to execute it. So, give it a shot, here you go, “Songs of Disillusion”.
I am a boy who has lived on this planet, yet I can’t speak, not even to a baby. No matter how wide, and no matter how hard I try to produce what is known as words, I can’t. I will never be able to speak to anyone in my entire life, except for myself. I say words in my head, and that’s how I think. I talk to myself, because I can’t speak. It’s almost like, watching my life go on by in a vivid dream, like I’m living in third person. What’s there to live for, if I can’t even say, “I love you” to my parents, “good bye” to my grandparents, and, “I’ll miss you” to my friends. I’m living like a dog. Except, even they have it better than me.
I always imagined my voice to be something like a soft whisper, because that’s how it is in my head. I’ve met many soft spoken people before, and they have lovely voices. They get ridiculed and blame themselves for being too quiet. I find that a very pernicious way to think. They have no idea how envious I am of them. To even have a voice is a blessing, no matter how loud or quiet. They just haven’t learned to embrace it yet.
One day, my parents gave me a small music box. It was filled with many songs, and I would listen to each and every one of them while I watched the other boys and girls play. I came accustomed to these sounds, the sound of music. They were unlike any voice I’ve heard. They came from a language that I couldn’t understand, yet the tones and accents were all so engrossing to me. My mom called it, harmony. I thought that was a nice name, and so I named the music box, Harmony. It was a she, and she had all the idiosyncrasies I could ever hope for in a laconically quaint box.
I soon realized that Harmony was just an incipient part of my much larger life. It was imminent that more was to come, I just couldn’t see it, and even if I did, I couldn’t tell it to stop. I met a girl at a park one day, while I was walking home with my music box. She was sitting near a river of ducks, feeding small bits of bread to them. I watched as she ripped piece after piece of the loaf, until there was no more. I could hear her laugh, and I could see her smile, yet I couldn’t reach out to her, because I thought it would be too weird, and so I simply watched. However, I had an idea, and so I winded up my music box, and played a song out loud. The notes sprang into the air as the soft rhythm danced across the grass around us, swirling up into the blue of the sky as each well constructed beat filled our ears. The girl turned around to see me, she waved and smiled, but when I didn’t respond, she didn’t walk away. We locked eyes, and she walked closer towards me. Her voice was crystal clear, like the notes of my music box, “I never heard a sound like that before.” I didn’t answer.
“What’s it called?” She asked. I looked at her and smiled.
“Let’s go over there and sit, and you can make more, okay?” I nodded, and we sat near a park bench. I winded up my music box again, and allowed the stream of notes to engulf us. It was like crashing waves, thunderous clouds, and the earth shaking around us as the acerbic melody bounced around our vivid minds. The girl giggled, “Something like before!” I made a mental note of the song I just played, and then winded up my music box for another song. This time it was a song filled with fireflies in the dark. They lit up as the dark of the night enshrouded us, and the small flicker of lights made it blindingly enchanting. The song then moved faster, and faster, and the notes more intense, the wind of the forest flying up at us, and then, everything stopped. One, two, three, the notes slowed, and the fireflies calmed, and we were left in an inescapable darkness. The girl beside me suddenly burst out of her seat and began jumping with alacrity. She smiled and jumped and smiled and jumped until she could smile and jump no more.
“More!” Her eyes were wide, her expression that of great elation, and she captivated me. For once in my entire life, someone who talked to me, wanted to be with me, even if it was just for Harmony. I played songs that entire day until she had to go. We were waltzing in sunflower fields, in desert storms, in the ocean with a school of sharks, and even in outer space. Harmony was filled with worlds that she nor I could ever attain, but with it, we were able to reach our hands for the stars, and grasp the lucid surface of our reverie. She waved goodbye to me that day, and said that I would see her around again. I never got her name, but I called her Melody.
The next day, I saw Melody again. She waved to me, with her flowing hair behind her, her bright cheeks, and her vibrant smile. Her eyes were brightly colored and shined in the lowlight of the evening. She waved to me, and we both sat by the park bench again. I winded my music box, and allowed the notes of the small box to swallow us into a pit of darkness. Everything was still, and then a tinge of color appeared at the edge of our eyes. And then another tinge, and another, and another, until our entire world was filled. We found ourselves walking on a beach, with the light of the wind against our face, with the sand on our feet, and with the smell of the salty ocean beside us. And then, everything crashed, the ocean, the sand, and the seagulls above us. Everything came crashing down on our quiet enclave, and everything turned into a meager spilling black. Our worlds became distorted and everything came jarring into our hearts. Our beings turned into oil, and before we knew it, we were burned. I turned towards Melody, who remained awestruck at what she saw. This song made me cry.
Melody smiled at me, like she always did, a fleeting smile, that I would never have guessed would be so fulfilling. For the times we spent together, I winded up my music box and played song after song for her, but the songs she most enjoyed were those of consternation. It became a normality, so much so that Melody was hard-wired to only hear the bleakness of the notes, and the drudgery of the rhythm.
Our days of grandeur could never have become a thing of permanency. It simply wasn’t within our grasp that we would revel in complete bliss in a sanctum of perpetual chords. Melody came to the same park bench that day, and I had Harmony in my hands. I winded her up, and allowed the notes to flow out into our meager perfunctory. It was the same few songs that she adored, and yet, the same shine in her had faded. She looked out at the river in front of us, at the shards of grass on the ground, and stared up at me. I wanted to ask her why, why her expression remained expressionless, why her face remained faceless, and why our days became pointless. I opened my mouth, with Harmony in my hand, but no words came out. However, Melody understood my tacit statement, my darkened down casted eyes, my pained lips, and my tensed hands, as they gripped on my pants. She noticed my entire being as it was being drained of it’s very essence. Her smile had brought everything about me to life. Her bright smile had made placid grey into vibrant reds, displaced whites into beautiful blues and staccato notes into tied wholes. She smiled, “I know you can’t talk.” She smiled at me vibrantly, almost too vibrantly. I began shaking with Harmony in my hands. The small music box neared its last ensemble, for me, and for her.
“For the longest time, I’ve been stuck in my own little world.” Melody began speaking to me, her eyes locked with mines, but she knew that I could not answer back.
“I didn’t know that my feelings would pour out so much when I heard the sounds you made for the first time.” She looked down, she avoided my eyes, and her hands scrunched up in her lap.
“It was enchanting.” Her eyes had welled up, and she smiled a broken smile, a smile that struck me in the chest and forced my entire being out. I gripped my chest to stop my fleeting entirety, to suppress the blood from the daggers of reality, to stop the lead of the bullets from spilling over.
“Thank you.” She smiled again, a broken smile, with broken tears, with broken dreams, with broken hopes, with broken happiness.
“It was my first time hearing sadness, but now, I have to leave you.” Somewhere inside of me, I expected her to say those sullen words. Somewhere inside of me, fought it to be a lie. And somewhere inside of me, knew that it was imminent.
“I never thought that the feeling of sadness was so gripping. It was truly beautiful.” My world became a languid trance, I waited and waited but I was stuck in an interminable loop. The words Melody spoke began bouncing through my head, but none of it remained solid.
“Good bye.” Those were the last few words that I remember, and lucidly understood. Melody took my hands in hers and then pressed her lips onto them, they were warm, and despite my consternated being, I still felt a tinge of sanctity. Melody stood up, and then left, waving and smiling back at me, and before I knew it, I was all alone, again.
“Now, I need to find someone who can show me what happiness is.” Her words sprang in my head again, words that she said but I never bothered to want to understand. Words that meant everything to her, and nothing to me. I wanted to scream, and cry, but as I opened my mouth, I knew that nothing would suffice. All I had to do now, was just move on. There was no point in dwelling on her, no point at all. I would miss her, miss her smile, and miss her company, but she would never miss me. I was just a boy with a music box.