Wednesday, June 17, 2009

His invention, a short story

His invention
by Mike Marcellino

Another chapter, Life stories series

Many days had come and gone in the writer’s life. Today, he sat down by the river to write, not sure what it would be about but had some ideas.


He had thought about writing about sound, or soundless to be exact. Life without sound. What that would be about. Frightening, at first thought. Fortunately the writer had an answer to that dilemma – invent it. Invent sound, like the light bulb or electricity, like Edison or Franklin.

After all, it was, or is his birthday. “You’re forty-four,” said Harry already working on his first bike, wearing a Mexican bandana, but the bike shop owner was Jewish, at least he used to be with some Jewish cult, but I always forget the name. “I was Acidic,” he announces every few days. I thought, “Whatever that means.”

“Mathematics, music and the brain. What a threesome,” the writer thought.

He’d invent sound in his mind.

Things are better this morning on the Cuyahoga. Just one plastic bottle floated by. “Find the owner,” he ordered. The OD bridge is open to bikes, but not cars. “How perfect.” he said to himself.

He listened to the clanging bell. A boat, maybe. Yes, a boat. A loud whistle followed but nothing ever came round the bend. Slowly the draw bridge rose. Workmen were fixing it.

In his mind, he missed the boat, a thing he feared, missing jump off time. That’s a mission of no return.

But, the writer remembered – he had not missed a thing. It’s his birthday. He invented sound on his birthday.

He watched a train on a distant hillside, glad he wasn’t on it. He watched a little basketball float by.

“You may be asked for security information,” the recorded cell phone company voice stated as the writer waited for a human being.

“Shit,” he thought, “what does that mean?” Well, they couldn’t read his mind, could they?

At that instant he was disconnected.

“This call may be monitored or recorded,” the recorded person said. “How reassuring,” the writer thought.

With that he rode as fast as he could to the War Memorial, on Mall B, two blocks from the lake. In books they call it War Memorial Fountain Plaza, but the writer had never heard anyone call it that. He called it the Veterans Memorial.

But he decided to stop across the plaza to the statue of Lincoln beside the board of education.

“Lincoln” she said in a sweet Texas accent, Carolyn told about her song, “Captain, My Captain,” at Town Hall in New York City. The writer wasn’t at the concert but he still has the album and listens to it.

Lincoln walked forth, toward the War Memorial. His expression uncertain, a declaration in his left hand, his right palm opens for deliverance.

No speeches, not a sound. Lincoln walks forth to war over the rights of man, people to be correct. Now presidents, soldiers made of stone, metal, granite, weathered, discolored, and covered with the soot of man.

Lincoln looked straight at the tall statue, a hundred feet or more, high, of the naked warier reaching for eternal peace.

The writer never remembers the verse from Palms, exactly. It’s about seeing the light, something like that. The monument made of nickels, Jefferson, from kids in Cleveland, spearheaded by press, shaped by Marshal Frederick, surrounded by a bronze plated wall – named of the dead, World War II and Korea. Vietnam left on the Internet, wishing the fountain of eternal life would burst, rise again, and touch the sky.

The writer grew tried. His mind drifted, remembering early morning of his birthday. He turned the switch on his hand tuned radio. In an instant, he got a clear, strong signal – the Raccoon Festival and Allison standing there in the mid day heat, champion of the fiddle at 16, and the cutest, nicest girl he’d met. He forgot his marriage, wanted nothing but bluegrass, wondering if she’s 18. He settled for classical Canada CBC. The old signal evaporated the way it came.

It was music to his hears, but nothing like the sound he created in his mind. That’s still his invention.

His invention copyright by Mike Marcellino 2009