Left Handed Musicians

I stood in the Market Cross, staring up the High Street, day dreaming that a recognisable face from the past, would come into view and spot me there all alone, wondering if this was the end of anything new. Sure enough no one appeared, only strangers, and an endless flow of cars from every where except Malmesbury. The town was now, just a distant junction for weekend drivers, exploring the countryside in search of something new. Sure enough it wasn’t here, and they all passed on through.

I was torn between dying on the spot or returning to the mausoleum, sure enough, just as a thousand times before, I summed up the will power to move my legs, and take myself back home, to rest my brain, from thinking about, my life disappearing down the drain. Is this a miracle, I can hear music coming from within the Abbey, real live music. I enter through the Norman Arch and take a seat inside, to listen to a young person’s orchestra, in rehearsal for the evening concert.

I looked at all these boys and girls, whose ages seemed to be between 15 and 25, all dressed in their casual clothes, and imagined a video fade, from day to evening, when they will all be dressed to the nines, in their best suits and dresses. The conductor seemed as if he was now trying to fly, and the timpanist’s low rumble, rose to storm force, and I expected the roof to open up and torrential rain to flood in. With one sudden swipe from the conductor’s baton – silence. That was it, and all violins came to rest upright on laps, whilst everyone took stock of their efforts.

I left the giant pile of stone and its silent orchestra, and unknown composer, maybe it was Holst, Mahler or even Beethoven, I really hadn’t a clue being no expert, but it sure was very loud and quite exciting. What a contrast walking down Abbey Row, with nothing but strange faces, occupying the reciprocal flow of weekend drivers heading south. Had they missed finding the Cotswolds, or were they still in search of White Horses and Crop Circles. I’ll never know, they never seem to stop, this town must look to them, just how it feels to me, year after year.

I think about all the times past, I’ve managed to escape the clutches of this pointless place, and think of all those who did the same, but had the sense not to return. Anyone young with ambition and hope seeks their fortune elsewhere, at the earliest opportunity, and they only return for funerals, family visits, and maybe, when retired, come to seek peace in their old age, in surroundings that are timeless all but for the style of lamppost and the number of pot holes. My thoughts and journey now over, I fumble for my keys, enter my house, and shut my destiny firmly out side, until a next time.

30 January, 2015
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License