Bach In The Library

By No Other Name library

We sit in chairs, bending at the waist to conform to their shape so our shapes are supported.

We see under light sparked by the physics found in a deadly flash ripping apart and superheating the air during a thunderstorm. Only these particular lights are in long, bright tubes of glass whose heat is cooled by the action of fingers on a switch.

We contract and release muscles when a fidgeting thought fires neurons in a sequence probably too often familiar. We still these fidgets with a breath.

Our smiles reach across the room to one another. We mirror this spark of happiness with a raise of the corners of our mouths—man to woman, child to adult, it doesn’t matter. We all know the tug of joy.

Above and around us are the curves and straight lines an architect exercising her or his pencil played across paper. We are sheltered, cooled or warmed—protected from the elements because of this thoughtful person who needed to draw with the strength and desire of a child.

Even without all this brightness, with the lights turned off and people moving less for it, we can still hear each other fidgeting. Breathing. Playing our fingers over the table in rhythm we alone know. Moving our fingers and touching someone else. Sensing their unease or joy in that touch.

In this, even the blind see happiness.

Bach plays in my ears—his music traveling through technology as if he were actually with me. I imagine this. I imagine this strong-fingered expansive mind joyously striking key with key, moving his body to the sound his mind hears and which now I enjoy.

I imagine this.

I do.

I stay with the music, playing it over and again while people move around me wearing colors and patterns of their own liking.

Some are even humming.

By Shaun E. Rudie

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