The First Note
Sweat forms on his back, and the palms of his hands.
Frantically, he tries to recall every minuscule detail
That for hours, he drilled into his fingers.
His heart beats like a frenzied bongo drum
Alone on the barren stage,
Helplessly exposed with no one to soothe him.
The grand piano stands exactly in the center.
It is the emperor of all instruments,
A well of beauty and passion.
Yet to him, the keys melt together,
Into an inescapable, ominous swirling vortex of black and white,
Closing in to crush him.
You perceive his hands to be perfectly still,
To him, they shake uncontrollably.
All that he can feel is suffocating pressure, and a sad injustice;
Those months of grueling work,
Including all their successes and failures,
Are compressed into a one hour presentation.
The hall becomes silent; the coughs and mutterings die down.
You close your eyes, and sink into your seat.
He loses all thought, and as time slows down,
Notices the beauty of the light on the keys,
Turning them into pearly mirrors,
Like the surface of a lake on a misty autumn morning.
For a split second,
And then the first note sounds.