The Perpetual Motion of Music
My feet were cold, unsettlingly so. It felt as though my toes were clinging to life, holding onto the relative warmth of my lower leg. I got the feeling that at any moment they might let go and be forgotten forever. They were the only part of my body that wasn’t covered with a bedsheet. I tried to pull them under, but no matter how much I willed it, and how much I fought, they remained in place, like statues on a cold winter night.
Music started to play – classical. I didn’t know who, Bach, Debussy, Beethoven, I didn’t know the difference. It was in between loud and quiet. I pictured notes bouncing from the wood panelled walls, and the thick rug that I somehow knew to be at the bottom of the bed, absorbing the low notes.
I had never thought of music as something that perpetuated emotion. It seemed to just be ‘there.’ People made it, people listened, people made money, that’s as far as I thought it went. Yet, somehow, as I lay motionless in that bed, it struck me. Notes flowed through my body, sounds that I recognised, emotions and feelings that I could share. It was a strange , as though I was being filled with an overwhelming sense of sadness, that somehow manged to border on appreciation and understanding. The music was talking to me, directly to me, something which people failed to do altogether.
And then the music stopped. Replaced by a loud screeching of someone dragging the needle of a turntable over the record. The lighting transitioned from a warm glow, to a bright incandescent assault of light. Yet, in the room there were no lights, and no record player. There was only a bed, and a rug…
Still, I tried to wriggle free. I tried to break the chains that lashed my body onto the bed. I willed for the music to come back, for the notes to stick their fingers into the locks that bound me. So that I could leave this seemingly doorless room. Enter another that wasn’t so bright, so stark and all-revealing.
Things began to fade. I saw the wooden walls fall away, revealing a world of white behind them. The ceiling floated upwards and vanished into that white. I glanced to my side as much as I could, the floor had gone. And then I saw the rug, drifting upwards much slower than the others, leaving me behind in this half warm, half cold world. I tried to reason with it, for it to fall back down to this world, to lay itself over my cold toes and make them warm once again. But it was a rug, and it didn’t know I existed.
I felt alone, exposed. I wanted the light to go out, for the whiteness to take leave as swiftly as it had come. Somewhere deep within me – after seeing those floating notes, and sharing in things I thought weren’t meant to be shared – I knew that the only way out of this bed would be for me to find the key hidden within the covers, the duvet, the pillows, wherever it had come to rest so comfortably. Then again, the idea of finding something without the ability to move, to search, was lost on me.
Maybe this bed, this world of white, a world without music, a place without anything at all, maybe it was now my home. For all I knew there was no key to unlock the chains. The chains were invisible, surely that must have meant the key was also…
How could I find an invisible key, to unlock an invisible lock, within an invisible world?