I am all alone this time around
Sometimes on the side I hear a sound
“Yes, don't worry...”
I stopped in front of the window, my head leaning to the right. My ear was pressed to the phone receiver, listening to that voice, his voice crossing a continent, then an ocean to reach through to me. Instinctively I reached out a finger and pushed the curtain aside a bit, to look in the street. I was focusing on the voice in the phone receiver, telling me for the millionth time the details about the place where we were supposed to record the album.
“Don't worry...” I repeated, just to say something.
I threw a fleeting look over the street outside. My street. The street in this city that had become my home. My house, my town...
“Yes, I know...” I mumbled so he wouldn't notice that I wasn't paying attention to him anymore. No, my eyes were fixing on that silhouette, that guy that was simply standing there, on the sidewalk across from my house. He was just standing, not even looking toward the old building that was now my place to live. My home, my castle!
“Hold on,” I said, still staring at the figure on the street. My ear was numb already, I wanted to put the receiver to the other one. In the same time, I thought about getting a ciggie and lighting it. I was already anticipating the feeling of the smoke filling my lungs. But I couldn't detach my glance from that guy there. So, for a split of a second I remained motionless, peeking at him, in the back of my mind trying to get myself into returning to that phone conversation that had been going on for too long already. He wasn't moving at all, appearing to be waiting for someone. Then I lifted my head, releasing the pressure from my ear – I had that feeling of millions of needles stinging the tender cartilage.
I threw my glance outside the window once again. He was gone. The street was now missing that dark silhouette on the gray background.
A house represents a life. Well, at least one life. In the moment you see it, that is. The life of those living inside it and, more importantly, taking care of it and leaving their mark on it in the way they arrange it. I only realized that in the moment when I had finally found this place that I was calling home. And, in the moment you get it, you turn into God and you start to transform it to be to your likings.
This building that became my home had something from the Old World, yet was very much a New World house. It had something ancient about it, mysterious and dark, without being creepy. I don't know if I fell in love with it at the first sight, but I surely liked it and took it.
Houses are living creatures. They are our protective ancient gods, like mothers to us, as we sit comfortably in their wombs. We come out of there every morning, being born again and again, and we always return. They are like kangaroos’ pouches.
“So, this is your new place?”
They would invariably say that. My family, my friends, my band mates, everyone that knew me and came to visit me in my new home.
They would walk through the door, stretch out their necks, their gazes traveling somewhere toward the ceiling and the upper part of the walls, scrutinizing how I've got everything set up here.
“It's neat,” I got from my children. “It's cool,” from most of my friends. “It's beautiful,” I got once. Yeah, I got one beautiful as well. Of course the part that I was the most proud of was my own studio. The rest...
I’d watch them as they would scan every room, as they would walk around slowly, some saying “Oh, you have this and this,” others, “Oh, I like how you made this or this.”
“I like the ... ummm... this peacefulness,” someone said once. Only one seemed to notice something connected with the atmosphere, a really huge reason why I got this place in the beginning.
I told someone about it one time, about the atmosphere of this particular place, but they looked at me as if I was losing it. I wasn't talking about getting abducted by aliens, but they surely looked at me as if I were. So, I've learned my lesson and kept my mouth shut. I only resumed enjoying my visitors' reactions and comments. But it was true, there was a sense of peacefulness. Maybe only because it was my refuge from the busy and hectic streets of this modern Babylon.
It was among the not so new buildings here, this house. It held so vivid that flavor of the styles and tastes brought from the Old World and planted here. It wasn't European, but it had that flavor, hidden among its bricks, mixed with the mortar that held them together.
“I'm sure you can find accounts about it. About who used to live in it, and things like that,” it was suggested to me.
It was one of those ideas that make all the circuits in my head work in the same time, overheating and overloading. Thoughts and plans swirling in my mind. Of course I wanted to know. But I didn't tell them exactly why I wanted to do it.
I looked at the clock. 3 am. My eyes felt like two burning balls in my sockets. I should go to sleep, I thought. Not because I was tired. I was used to being tired, I almost loved it. But it was as if my mind was blank. I had no more ideas for today. I thought I should just go to bed, and maybe when I awoke I would have some ideas about this song I was working on.
It was silent. So quiet in this place. I thought it was because of the special walls in the studio. All I could hear was the steady buzzing of electricity going through the speakers. For whatever reason it gave me a sense of restlessness. I turned off the guitar. Then, with stiffened movements, I stretched out and turned off the rest of the stuff.
Now it was completely quiet. Not even the tick-tock of a clock. With modern technology, everything is manufactured to be silent so we can hear better our own noise. But in that very moment, a tick-tock would have made me feel as if connected to the real world. The world of people, where we have this dimension called time. Instead there was only silence, creeping slowly into my fibers.
I thought that I should just play a little more, that it would chase away this weird sense, the sense of being alienated from my own kind. But in the same time I was tired and had this feeling that it would have been very improper to do so. It felt as if the spot I was sitting on, together with the floor and maybe the surrounding walls – my studio's padded walls – would detach slowly, atom by atom, molecule by molecule, inch by inch, with me in it, like a slice of a rotten cake.
I looked again at the clock. Still. Still, like this silence that seemed to exist near me, to take me into its eerie embrace. I seemed unable to move. I was awake, like never before in my life; the sensation of tiredness was gone. But I was unable to move. I was tied by the invisible layers of silence, wrapped like a cocoon, no movement, restrained.
The layers were slashed by that horrible ring that made my heart jump inside me.
The mobile phone was lying pretty close to me.
I waited, watching the small electronic creature in its shiny black plastic case, but it rang only once.
After a few seconds, I finally decided to stand up. I sighed, and picked up the mobile. I looked at the screen to see who that was, but on the screen the letters only told me “unknown number”.
To be continued...