Alyosha is playing down the hall.
My book has fallen to my lap without my realizing it; my head is tilted toward the door. The notes, played slowly and almost tenderly, drift through the old house like air, and like air I breathe them in. It is Beethoven’s Sonata Pathétique. I close the book in my hands to listen.
It happens without fail, though he does not know it: if I were to tell him that I stopped what I was doing every time he practiced, he would probably apologize for disturbing me. There is no need for that. His music is like an old friend’s embrace: far from being a disturbance, it is a comfort.
That is especially true today. I have heard this piece played many times, by many different pianists, but Alyosha himself plays it very, very rarely. I love it when he does.
He is already well into the first movement. It is fascinating to listen to, swinging between fast cascades of sound and phrases defined by their aching loneliness. Under his hand, the soft passages are heartbreaking, the loud ones angry, and the sudden outbursts that spot each quiet phrase feel like blows. The emotion is almost more than I can bear.
The second movement finds deeper places in the heart to touch.
I have always found the Adagio’s cantabile lonely and filled with a sort of slow, bittersweet hope. Very few performances of it have failed to move me, but at his fingers, the reoccurring melody has such a longing to it that tears are wetting my cheeks before the first phrase has left the air.
It is not unusual for me to cry while listening to Alyosha playing. He has seen me weep at his music in the past and he understands, but just as he does not know how often I listen to him practice, he does not know how often he brings forth tears.
I do not know how he would react – he does, after all, understand. But there is a part of me that thinks he would apologize, and this is what stops me from being an overt audience more often. I don’t want him to regret my tears: they, too, are a comfort.
This is how I mourn my dead. This is how I find my healing.
The Adagio ends, rich and heartbreaking, and I am beyond the simple action of listening as the last movement begins. I wrap myself in the music, in my grief, and when the piano falls still and the last notes leave the air, I do not open my eyes.
For one precious moment of silence, the music echoes in my blood. I am home.
(hnnn i don't know. alyosha is a friend's; the character speaking is one of mine. the short version of her deal is: there've been a lot of bad things that have happened in her life, and she can't ever go home. she never developed a mechanism of her own to work through her issues/dead, but music functions in its stead. she's been sort of adopted by alyosha's family, and she's slowly settling into it, but it's still not home - the music, however, is.
(Mov. I) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq4G3KRAuXc
(Mov. II) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2nG1bt7IBM
(Mov. III) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRkr7WgQ_Y4
this took way too long to write and is slightly embarrassing. my characters/oneshots are all disgustingly melodramatic, but usually they don't go further than the eyes of alyosha's writer.)