Blue Note

A sweet, blue clarinet melody slipped through Rashmi’s open window like a velvet ribbon carried in on a breeze. The sultry strain of music wrapped itself around her softly, so softly, as she sat on the sofa reading a novel. Rashmi set down the book and pressed her eyes shut as the smooth notes caressed her, a song of frosty fires and longing looks.

When the music stopped, she let out a tiny gasp, her eyelids fluttering open as though someone had shaken her awake from a pleasant dream. She waited for a few minutes, but the music did not resume. A lone teardrop shivered upon the lower rim of her right eye. After a moment, she picked up her book. But that wasn’t right; she stared at it uncomprehendingly, as though it had transformed into an assembly manual in a foreign language. She set it back down.

Rashmi’s fingers began to itch. She flexed them several times, then picked up a pen and a notebook. This was good; yes, she was on the right track.

Flipping to a fresh page, she began to write. The blue ink looped and scrawled across the page like a ribbon somersaulting on a gust of wind. The ink stained her skin like a smear of crushed berries, but this only made her feel more alive. By the time Rashmi was done, the sky had blackened, and a drafty chill from the window set her teeth chattering. Admiring her work with deep satisfaction, she tore out the word-stocked pages of her notebook.

Then she crumpled all of these notebook pages together into a big ball and hurled it out the window, not knowing where it might land. The best was the not knowing.


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