Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Silence & The Saxophone

"Silence & The Saxophone"
a new wave old world story told somewhere in the middle with way too much narrative by jake kilroy.

The saxophone played a dull tune, as the brass tones crawled out of the stereo and sprinkled the room in a lulling, sleepy sound.

Each melodic and pensive note of the instrument seemed to slump majestically around the living room, sliding up his sleeves or down the slender legs of the woman on his couch.

"The bitter end," he mumbled, dragging on a cigarette, sitting in the window with one leg in the room and one leg hanging over the brick, watching the many people below in the streets. Sun was setting and a piercing orange glow swathed the city's buildings in its own brass tones.

The record turned in place and the music came careful and scratchy, as the needle drifted and bounced along like an old car on a dirt road. There was a soft piano along with the brushing strokes of a lounging drummer to accompany the saxophone on its liquid-like rolling of golden music notes.

"Are we going out?" she asked with a brutal sigh. Her red nails cut through the pages of the magazine as she flipped through each article aimlessly, not reading anything, never taking in a thing. "I didn't wear an evening gown just to have it wrinkle, you know."

His eyes hung on the city like his eyelids were nailed to the stucco wall.

"That dress looked fine in the hamper anyway," he said in something only just barely above monotone.

"No, it didn't," she said, a tremor of angst shaking the bottom of her throat. "It looked its best when I was at that party in the Hamptons."

He snickered and sneered, as his eyes closed and opened lazily.

"Nobody looks good in the Hamptons. Everybody looks like an asshole," he said, pinching the filter of his cigarette and drawing thoughtfully.

"Right. Everybody looks like an asshole. Says the guy who doesn't leave his apartment," she said, closing the magazine and opening her stinging eyes. "What are you so afraid of out there? That everyone won't appreciate you? Well, I've got news for you. Nobody out there has ever heard of you or your art."

He shrugged. "It's probably for the best."

"So what are you going to do instead? Sit here and listen to this naptime bullshit?"

He shrugged again and gave a response that resembled a word jumble. "Maybe."

"Why?" she demanded, flicking the needle off of the record. "We were invited to a great party. Great people will be there. There'll be great music, great food, great fun. What do you have against great?"

"Great ain't productive. Lowly, spastic, pathetic crying for help is," he replied, knowing that even his answer was total thoughtless, inconsiderate bullshit. But that's what most fights were. Words always got in the way of actions, cutting up the tempo of their dance so it always felt cluttered and clumsy.

The living room always felt like it was too wordy, but it wasn't what they were saying. The space between them felt like it was stacked with the words not being said. Every room felt stuffy with the thin oxygen of unsaid sentences. And it slowed the pace of their stories, making their lives seem clunky to each other.

"That's stupid. And empty. That is the absolute absence of real art. That's why you're not who you say you are."

"That's what everyone says about great art."

"Great, ravenous art is for crows," she said tossing her arms up and letting them come down heavy. "Every crow wants to be a raven. Every stupid artist wants to torture themselves and barely just get by, always wanting more, but always acting like they don't."

"Yeah?" he asked, grinning, now finally looking at her.

"Yeah, and at least the swans and songbirds have truth," she said, as her hands slipped onto her hips.

He sluggishly lowered his head back to the street as she swayed to the bathroom to freshen up.

"Baby, there ain't one true thing about what you've got on," he said, finishing his cigarette and throwing it upwards with a snap. "Even that necklace is fake."

There was a lowly silence that would've been filled by the saxophone, but instead was meagerly stuffed with the breaking of hearts and wills.

"What? But you gave me this," she said with long, timid pulls on each word.

"Right, darling, and like I always say, a fake for a fake."

The heavy silence returned.

"Fuck you," she said finally.

"Ah," he said with a lights in his eyes that resembled swinging light bulbs. "There's the truth they talk about in movies."

"Fuck you," she repeated.

"Keep 'em coming, sweetheart, I'll tuck those fiery words nearby and save money on heat."

"Fuck you!" she yelled and threw the necklace at him, but missed and hit the window. The necklace sang a dazzling sound and then fell to pieces on the floor. Seeing the necklace explode threw her into a fit. She immediately found her arms dragging across the bathroom counter, spilling the pills, the perfume and the glass containers of nothing that she had come to admire.

"I'm going out and I hope I see you on the way home stuck under a trolley," she bellowed, shaking her way into a thick, fashionable coat.

"You won't, since I walk everywhere," he said casually, once again, letting his arms slide into a shrug. "I don't have to rely on anybody. Enjoy your evening of crying on shoulders and asking for donations from criminals posing as gentlemen. Let me know how white their cuffs are. Tell me how their buttons taste and where exactly they plan on breaking your heart."

"You're going to die alone," she said with words that sounded like bricks hitting the bottom of a construction site, each one landing as loveless as possible with stark echoes.

"Yeah, but not tonight. Sweet dreams, honey. You're gonna get lost out there in that forest of concrete and steam. You'll probably starve to death if somebody doesn't feed you with a silver spoon."

She screamed and closed the door. He listened to her stomp down the stairs. She yelled all the way down, floor by floor, and kept yelling once she was on the street. She looked up and saw him sitting at the window, one legging swinging enthusiastically. He saluted and she scream a final curtain call growl before slinking into the back of a cab.

He watched the yellow disappear into the black streets of a dying orange glow, and then stood up to put the needle back on the record player. He got a glass from the cupboard, filled it and then sat back down on the windowsill again to light another cigarette. With a pillar of smoke climbing the crisp air of evening, he looked towards his bedroom and wondered if he should change into a tuxedo.

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