Tapiola

I have heard Kavakos play before, in Atlanta.

I have heard the Sibelius Violin concerto before, and have wept during the second movement. The Sibelius compositions have, for the longest time, reminded me of myself, striving to find myself in a place as stark as the lands that inspired him, as melancholy as the lone violin that attempts to put chords to human frailty in the face of the insurmountable nature surrounding it.

The first time I heard the music, I was mourning someone dear. I skipped down the steps of the Atlanta symphony hall, lost in thoughts, brooding, and I met a young man, too tall and too thin, who asked me if I’d mind coming with him for a cup of coffee. Around us, the rich patrons of the symphony, dressed in their Sunday whites, waited impatiently for their cars to come and pick them up. We headed off to a little cafe off Peachtree, and I remember the pavement was hot under the heat of the Southern summer.

This time, I was making another boring powerpoint presentation, when he came up to me and dangled tickets in my face to the Kavakos performance of the Sibelius Violin concerto.

“A good birthday gift, don’t you think?” he asked, all smug and pompous.

There was dinner afterwards, at that pretentious, expensive French place. I like their oysters and that is worth putting up with the rest of it, during the rare times I can afford it. When we went, everything was sombre, unusually for a weekend. I saw the colors of the French flag placed everywhere, and I heard people speaking in hushed voices about Paris.

“Je suis Paris,” one of them said quietly.

Oh, we can be as liberal as we like, and celebrate all that is diverse, in race and religion and gender, but not all that is diverse should be celebrated, if we know what is good for us, and most of us don’t know that or choose not to know that, most of the time. They have fancy names for everything – confirmation bias comes to mind often. And there is talk of bell curves and outliers.

I met a friend today. He had taught me to play darts and poker. I have become good at the second and continue being terrible at the first. He speaks about the Channel, and about the oceans, and about Canada. It is very clear to me how his thoughts are going. The waitress comes by, buxom and lovely, and asks if everything is all right. I nod, while his gaze lingers on the curve of her hips.

“What happened to Lucy?”  I ask, hoping that I got the name of his last serious date correct.

“Didn’t work out,” he mutters. “Never mind. I have got a surefire way of getting the next one right.”

Curious, I ask him what it is. He tells me, excitedly, about the Game and a Red Pill. I try to keep the skepticism out of my voice and features as I ask questions. Well, I wish him luck. The concepts of alphas and betas remind me of bad fan fiction, but if it works for him, good.

“Women want alpha fucks and beta bucks,” he assures me.

I focus on my hot chocolate as he carries on with the fervour of someone who has found faith.