The notes roll through the gloom, fading into the still night, and I forget. I lose my way home, dwelling on the deserted street corner, beneath the golden light of a flickering, dying lamp. I drop my books and my cares, my sorrows and my plans; and I listen passively to the light, melancholy twinkles. I lose sight of the pale, silent moon as it disappears behind the lofty, looming clouds of brooding cumulus. Darkness hovers around the uneven circle of the street lamp, lingering like dampness in the air. Winding its way around me, the music bids my feet cease and succumb to the seductive strains of the waltz. It bids me to follow, and I fall for its charm and sweetness, leaving my books in the street, stealing into the shadowed gloom.

Along the lonesome avenue of crisscrossing shadows and faded lamps, beneath the heavy eaves of houses and their darkened windows, I walk. I trespass through the nocturnal refuge of owls and insomniacs who perch or skulk along the black sides of my directionless vision; they scatter away into darkness, or delve deeper into their sorrowful cares. But I pay no attention. I have no cares, and the music has overcome my strict convictions. I shall be late to sleep and late to dream, but this is nothing. The music is everything.

The light swing of the laughing, crying notes bids me to hasten. It grows louder with each passing footfall, grows sweeter with each passing moment. Here it delves into the pensive follies of a minor key; there it rises above into a major, every transition smooth and teasing. But it is all music—universal and beautiful, dynamic and lovely. I sidle along an alley between two houses, cast in utter darkness. I have left the road, pitched into a wilderness of ornament and grass, trees and fences. It is a maze, but I shall find my own path to the music. How sweetly it calls!

In the distance, a light pierces the uncertain gloom with a pale incandescence. A window is open, and the music springs forth like fresh water to cleanse, refresh, and comfort with manifold texture and overwhelming beauty. The piano chimes from within, locked in the dungeon of its four walls. I must find it—the music. The regular chords of the waltz keep pulsing as the fluid melody dwells or cascades across the keys, spelling emotion in music. I approach swifter. I must find the music. I must be immersed in it.

Drawing closer to the window, ignoring the oppressive darkness, ignoring the feelings of reproach, I come closer to the light, to the music. It is perfect—a euphoria of simple sound. So sweet and lovely, so graceful and divine. I stand at rapt attention, looking into my heart, surrounded by the heavy brooding night. I am happy, happier than ever before, and I begin to think that it shall last forever, or at least until the sunlight rises.

Then darkness falls and the music ceases. Silence and loneliness become absolute, strangling in conspiracy with the night. Where has it disappeared to? Why has it left? Why? I stand a trespasser of night and of privacy, no less than a thief, crushed in the oppressive shadow and quietude of the gloom, shutout in the cold. Not even crickets, not even footsteps remain cataloged in the mysterious nightly sounds. Where was it? Where am I? Why? With questions still turning in my head and lingering snatches of melody brooding on my heart, I skulk away defeated, alone, and drowned in night, groping for my books, trying to let go of the beautiful music that I once heard. That phantom music of the night.

Perhaps it may play again on some other starless, pale night of black and white, as I walk home beneath dying streetlights and clawing branches, but shall I have the courage to seek again? Shall I venture off the road once more, stepping through the lingering, reaching shadows? Or shall I cower away, hold tightly to my books, and walk home? Only time, and circumstance, will tell...


A few brief notes. I was listening to Chopin's Waltz in A minor while writing this, and it was just a spur of the moment work, but while writing I purposely added symbolic allusions and parallels. I just wont give them away because I want you to get your own message from my work, but for one example, the books symbolize work and study. Now what is the music? :)

Ha, I hope that you enjoyed it, and if you've read this far you might as well review. Thanks for your time.

p.s. "Notes" is a pun of musical notes and observational notes, since I wrote this in the "gloom."