At the Stroke of Midnight

By Joi Barua

At the stroke of midnight, the notes from David Neveu’s piano sliced me like a silent bullet. In the silence, which I was beginning to enjoy, like the quiet company of a trusted friend, music killed me again.

I didn’t want the music tonight. No. I wanted some silence, some thinking, some recollecting, some contemplating, a drink, and yes…the quiet, which a city doles out to us, like blessings from an uppity stingy god. DAMN HIM. I was thinking of thinking. And made a quiet note, that I would not be swayed by the twelve intervals. No matter, which instrument, no matter which artist, no matter which song.

I was thinking of a few things I’d read the day before. Dante’s Divine Comedy, Rome, home, and lot of things that came in between. I was looking at the walls and ceilings of the Vatican, the saints, the sinners who dwell within and without god’s pristine chambers there and here. I was thinking if serial killers could have common ground with the people who treated them, if one wanted out and the other wanted a peaceful redemption. Wasn’t that enough for two people to hold hands and walk a common ground. Why not? Their choices, like most are prone to say these days. What if one was a player?Acoustic-Guitar

I was thinking of how fast as a people we were evolving, or possibly mutating? My biology is weak. So, one’s the same as the other. Thinking of technology, we didn’t have one-tenth the content of what we have on the Internet now. And that has bloomed exponentially. And we are taking it all. Are we getting crazy? Who cares? Are we getting intelligent? You tell me. Who is writing what for whom? Who’s reading? Who cares? There’s too much. Information and knowledge overkill. The wit of an Oscar Wilde has been forever lost in the last decade, to just 140 characters on an app we think is godsend. Fastest finger first. You are king for a minute. Somebody from halfway around the world acknowledges your 140 character published line. You have a high and before you know, you are more ancient then yesterday’s news. But you live, to fight another minute. Your warriors? Your samurai fingers.

I was thinking of the 150 children killed in Kenya. What must have transpired? Can’t even fathom the seeds of darkness from whence they sprung. What were their parents doing now? Was some country working up their air force to smoke the killers out of their holes? Did Kenya have oil to offer, so that peace could be outsourced to the 1st world? Well we haven’t heard of anything. So probably the oil isn’t there and nobody cares. And every country has enough problems of their own to worry about world peace in general. Will we need another Hitler to unite us? Will it take us to the devil, to call out for god? And then, who’s God? I will kill you for mine.

I loved math in high school. For the last few years I have been thinking of getting back into calculus, as a hobby. It was my favorite. It gave us methods to estimate and calculate the incalculable. Have infinity as one of the variants. 1/infinity could become the logical part of a mathematical equation. It fascinated me to no end. Wasn’t this the language of the gods? This was the secret code to the workings of the universe. And lastly Stephen Hawking was still trying to put it across in one line. And tell us how. You could roll that dice.

But…but then some Austrian violins made their way into the soundscape of my ear. The reality of my math and the universal code was destroyed. Music made its way back into the soul like a demonic psychotic lover. And it didn’t have to do much. I was slain. The world has its natural born killers. I have mine and she finds me, every night.

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