Agnes calls to tell me she won’t be joining me at gym later but also to congratulate me… she had heard via the ‘simvine’ about my promotion. What?! Oh yes! In all the excitement of the previous evening I had completely forgotten I had been promoted to a ‘Roadie’.
We chat about fitness and Christopher mostly and she warns me about a ‘floozie’ named Tamara Donner. Hmmm, I wonder what that is all about? As I stand at my postbox chatting, movement catches the corner of my eye…
I am slightly distracted with thoughts about the man and I “ooo” and “aaah” at the appropriate moments but do not really hear what Agnes has to say after that. It is time for us to end our conversation anyway as I realise the time. The earlybird aerobic class beckons and I can’t wait to improve my fitness some more and feel that ‘happy’ feeling one gets with all the endorphins rushing through one’s body.
When I was in Riverview… after the accident, Dr Frinkleton had said that exercise would make me feel good. But I could not believe him, how could going to the gym ease the numbness I felt in my heart, the hollowness I felt in my soul?
He had said I would understand when I was ready. He was wise in many ways, Dr Frinkleton. He would be so proud of me now! I jump in the taxi and head down to the gym with not much time to spare.
The aerobic class goes well, but boy, are those abdominal crunches hell! One thing that is nice about the gym though, is that after a shower one is able to catch a quick bite in the snackbar downstairs. It saves me time as I usually cut it quite close to the time when work is supposed to start.
I wonder what it will be like to be a ‘Roadie’? At least I get to spend time with more musicians and we can discuss music in breaks between work. It is nice to swop ideas and thoughts on favorite music and so on. Excitedly I head out the door of the gym to jog to work…
Is it a coincidence that I keep bumping into him? Sunset Valley is not enormous afterall, of course you will see the same person more than once. I convince myself that perhaps it is his unusual features that made me remember him from that first day. No time to think about it now, I have to rush to work.
I spend some more time getting to know my colleagues, and then I practice my music theory. Work can’t all just be about fun and socialising. Besides, I want to become an accomplished guitar player so I can find new ways to express myself with music… and of course, the tips in the park will improve as well.
Finally work is over, but I do not say that with a heavy heart. I am starving and I am dying to dive into one of the conveniently located picnic baskets that get put out by City Hall for the townies and homeless each day. I also plan to play for tips for awhile afterwards. Two birds with one stone, make some money and improve my guitar skills. I love it!
I get distracted by something yellow on the side of the walkway. Seeds! Oh how lovely! I remember our garden in Riverview with such fondness. I spent many happy moments in the garden with mom. Lol, though she did not really garden by the strict definition of the word…
I really do miss her so very much. She was so strong, so loving, so good to all of us. She had seemed so worried in those last few days before the accident, though she tried to hide it from us. I could see it in her eyes, something was not right. Maybe she had had a sense of foreboding, maybe she knew something more… I have always wondered.
As I sit down at the picnic table to enjoy a delicious hotdog, something unsettling happens. I feel the hairs on my arms prickling up. Primal instinct kicks in, my heart begins to race, my breathing becomes erratic, my body tenses… it seems to display all the signs of “Fight or Flight”…
He just sits there and stares and says nothing.
I try to remain calm, I try not to show my fear. Maybe he is just a shy fan? Maybe in some way my music reached his soul that day outside the theatre and he feels a connection? I focus on my breathing, I focus on getting it normal again. I do not want to show fear, I do not want to appear to be weak and helpless. But then… he begins to talk to someone next to him, someone who isn’t there…
Oh dear, the poor man, he must have a multiple personality disorder perhaps? But he seems so alert, so aware of everything around him. One feels this almost primitive predatory radiance eminating from him. He reminds me of a great white shark… looming in the dark, coming up out of nowhere, catching it’s prey by surprise. I shudder… it literally feels as if someone just walked over my grave.
I need to calm down and there is only one thing that calms me and soothes my soul, I pull out my guitar. I did come here to earn some tips afterall. He stands and watches me, it almost feels menacing.
I focus on the melody and soon I am lost in it as always. My fingers find the chords and play what my heart feels inside, there is no other way I express myself so freely. I play my ‘raw’ emotions, I play the music of my soul.
When I take in my surrounding again much later, he is gone. A lone old man stands and jives to my beats, he must like them because I have over $300 in tips in my case. I nod thank you as I pack up and head home for the evening.
Tomorrow is a big day, tomorrow I am planting mom’s garden.