The papers blown off of the Adirondack chair were the first sign that something was amiss. A new nip was in the air, almost chilly. The mountains etched the horizon with a crisp, purple line that he hadn’t noticed in months. A sense of time passing settled slowly on him like dust stirred up from a long-neglected cabinet. Old enmities had passed; recent inequities were etched in stone with a certitude that no hand could revoke. He struggled to rid his mind of the remnants of insistent issues that now needed no longer ever be thought of again. But as more troubling thoughts cleared, it occurred to him that internet radio was still alive. How could it be possible? The pronouncements had been so dire. Yet that woman from Washington had hinted that there was never really any danger. Was it all a game, a distraction concocted by CEOs and political lobbyists to divert onlookers from the real crimes being committed, the money being siphoned from foreign governments, the restrictions being tightened on some form of expression no one was watching at the moment? Again, as so many times before, he chafed at his inability to see behind the curtain, his ignorance of the machinations of those expert outside his field, those who affected his future but were forever exempt from responsibility for it, hidden behind a veil of corporate secrecy.
No point in thinking about that now. The altered circumstances, however outside his control, dictated a certain responsibility. He made an effort to notice the stack of compact discs on his desk which, despite its steadily increasing height, had come to blend in with the rest of the furniture. Names that had flown by so fast as not to register now stood out with accusatory frankness. Slow Six? An ensemble of some kind, with compositions credited to one Christopher Tignor. Songs by pretty Molly Thompson, whom he hadn’t seen in years. An enormous piano work from 1977-78 by Lubomyr Melnick, titled simply KMH, was listed as a rerelease. Why had he not owned the vinyl original? No way to puzzle that out at the moment. A new Noah Creshevsky CD awaited. Emily Bezar’s “Angel’s Abacus,” with its Feldman-like minor sevenths, had been haunting his memory, from which he hoped to excise it by adding it to the mix. Kerry had recommended This Window Makes Me Feel by one John Supko, and he uploaded it almost absent-mindedly. And of course there was Gloria Coates’s Fifteenth Symphony, which had made such a riveting impression on him only days before. Art Jarvinen had sent him a CDR of Breaking the Chink, and there was a new Mary Ellen Childs album out too enticing to ignore. More difficult to fathom was the recording of intermission noises by Christopher DeLaurenti, the tall, shaved-headed Seattleite whom he had just run into at school. Names, names, each attached to a trail of memories, except for a few curious in their absence of evocations. There would doubtless be other names, many, many others, and beneath the shadow of the political charade, the work would continue.
But now the harsher noon-day light edging around the deck and through the sliding glass door prompted reflections that there remained alternate histories to write, additional ephemera to be entered into the record of events. He allowed his eyes to close for a moment, and, shaking off melancholy, returned to books still laying open from yesterday….