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Crossing the Muses [Daichi]
Posts : 46
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:14 am|| |
Calling it afternoon was a bit of a stretch. Evening was more akin to the proper term, those precious few hours right before dusk where the roar of Endymion's bustle calmed to a sort of dull thrum. It was about rush hour, sure, but everyone filed into parking lots and train stations with the same exhausted, half-conscious look. They all flopped into their vehicle of choice with a sigh like a zombie put back to rest, either due to a long day of work or not being fully awake for their nighttime shift.
It was during this time, before the city got its second wind and the nightlife drowned the world with noise that Lance liked to travel downtown to Vista Square, duffel bag tucked under his arm and muse whispering new ideas into his head. Well, usually. Today he was a bit tired and he just felt like numbing his brain with some random fandom tracks. He didn't have a gig and he wanted to play, but it was way past his siblings' bedtimes, and it was a relatively nice day for fall.
Finding a nice, low wall boxing in a stretch of shrubbery in the plaza, Lance set down his bag, carefully pulling from it his Casio keyboard. He set it in his lap, briefly contemplating the stand that glinted in the dim dusk light before deciding against using it. The wall placed him at a height far too short, and standing would be a pain as well as less effective for playing. Thus he turned on the battery-operated instrument, running his hands fondly but soundlessly across the keys as it buzzed to life. It was his way of filing through his mental repertoire, each starting note bringing to mind a different folder full of songs.
A, B, C... It was a long day, he was tired, but overall it had been a good past few hours. He wasn't feeling anything upbeat, but he didn't want anything too melancholy, either; it wasn't even close to the late-night chill. D, E, F... perfect.
He couldn't quite remember what it was from, but the sample of the melody that played itself out in his head was one he'd obsessed over trying to learn since the moment he'd heard the song in full. As it returned to the forefront of his mind the notes flowed from the speakers of the digital instrument, the artificial echo of the piano sound giving an ethereal quality while also serving to increase its volume to match the quiet rumbles of the city that carried on around him.
- The song::
Posts : 172
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:48 pm|| |
Dead. She was feeling dead. Drained of all her energy, enervated
from everyone who took and took and left her no time to recharge. It had made her feel sick, an existential kind of exhaustion. Her mind and spirit were weary from being sanded down with the conversations of strangers, even after her uplifting chords earlier. But everyone insisted on taking from her and she was powerless to stop them from leeching her vigor away. With her hands deep in her pockets and lusterless eyes pointed downward, Ritsuko shuffled down the street among like-minded zombies. Her face was an expressionless mask of sullen apathy, only a trickle of her soul left inside the husk that was her form as she trudged toward her hotel. It wouldn't be long, but the day had worn long.
Fiery hues painted the crowded streets as the sun neared setting, bathing Ritz in a warm flame and casting her shadow to dance with the other ghostly figures in a twilight ballet. Sore tendons tugging on tender muscles pulled her ever forward in slow, deliberate strides. Her spirit throbbed within her, a dull, unpleasant ache. Ritsuko's heartbeats came in a slow, steady rhythm, her core resting itself within the anonymity of the nobodies. She only had so much emotion and diligence to give, and she was at the end of her limited supply. Rest. Rest would be ideal. To just... lay down in her room and do nothing for a few hours. Not sleeping, not drinking, not thinking... just existing. Nothing more.
The mental cloud over Ritsuko's mind was pierced ever-so-slowly by the sound of piano keys. A touching tune that brought her back to the moment unwilling, like being roused from a deep slumber. Poetic it was. Soft, grieving. It was the sound of ending. Ending of the day, the end of something special, lost forever to the time that marches eternally forward. It was pining for that special moment again, to hold it one more time in its embrace before letting it go... Ritz found herself guided to the music. She felt it. She didn't simply hear it or analyze it or listen to the meaning. It vibrated within herself, the waves of emotion bridging the gap in the air to her own lake of quiet mourning.
She had walked straight past the taller boy without looking at him, as if she were going to pass him by before coming to rest on the wall beside him mere feet away. As she collapsed on the brick she lazily foraged into her pockets for a cancer stick and lighter, hanging her head low with the weight of the day. She gave him a cursory glance into his electric blue eyes with her dull brown ones before turning to simply be, to exist at this point in time as she came to grips with her exhaustion. Her neutral, dreamy expression belied no malice nor intrigue. It was an acknowledgement that he also existed and a question for permission that needn't be met with an answer. She allowed herself to listen for a few moments, allowing the harmony to wash through her mind before sliding her guitar case off of her shoulder. She unzipped Aoide from her polyester crypt and held her thoughtfully, a soft hum emanating from the strings. There would be no words. There didn't need to be any. That was missing the point. This... this simply was.
Her light chords kept pace with the boy's soulful keystrokes. He would lead, she would follow, adding to his harmony with her own, subtle sets. She didn't recognize the song, but that wasn't the point either. It was a song. It didn't need to be known to be understood. If Lance's style of music was as a library filled with melody, hers was an ocean full of sound. When one dipped their chalice into the soulful body their cup would be filled, and the music would fit the cup to its edges like water. It was ill-defined. You couldn't keep track of all the water, it was never the same cup every time. But every time you sunk your hand beneath the waves you would bring back emotion that molded and conformed to its boundaries. And her notes molded themselves to this tune like any other.
Posts : 46
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:09 am|| |
Lance honestly hadn't noticed anyone who came close to him since the first hum of melody left the speakers of his keyboard. Someone could've easily sneaked up on him and tried to make off with the duffel at his feet, and there was a good chance he would've been none the wiser. Like the needle of a phonograph, his single-minded focus was only on the music as the notes came and went in his mind's ear. Unlike most formal musicians he'd come to know, who talked about memorizing notes and reading scales, music to Lance was harmony. One beautiful sound chained to the next, and that to another, and the patterns and the emotions within were committed to memory.
He almost didn't notice the guitar when it began, mainly because the song that he was remembering seemed to have some sort of guitar accompaniment to it as well. But there was something more in what he was hearing now than what he was recalling in his mind. There was so much more emotion to it; it felt so much more honest and soulful. There was a story to those frets, and while he couldn't stop his heart from going out to all the weariness in those crooning tones, he couldn't stop playing, either. He couldn't do her that kind of disservice, to cut her story short before the song dictated.
It wasn't long before it ended, though, the song simple in structure despite its depth. There was a long moment, just the right amount of silence as the world continued to flow around them like a deep river streaming calmly past a rock.
"So... It's been that kinda day, has it?" he asked, his tone gentle. He wasn't so much talking to her as he was at her, voicing the words but leaving it up to her whether or not she wanted to respond. Words, after all, were just noise when it came down to it. All that mattered was the sound, and the feelings embedded within. He respected this guitarist; just from their short interaction she could tell that she really just felt her music as opposed to just mechanically memorizing it. While he was always quick to separate himself from the note-readers and metronomers, his second performances of a piece were never as honest and as wholesome as the first. Once he memorized the melody, it was just a meal from the fridge with a sprinkling of emotion for flavor.
Posts : 172
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:45 am|| |
Aoide hushed to silence as her somber notes faded away, strings humming as their soft vibrations melted back into the surrounding clamor. Just as the water of the song had crested her chalice to the brim it was released back into the ocean of surrounding noise. It would never come back. Not in the same way, anyway. The next cup of music wouldn't be the same one as this time, at least not all of it, but it would be at the very same time. It was the same chalice, the same form, the same ocean. It was just music. No more. No less.
And then the world forgot. It was possessed once again by its churning cacophony, the heavy footsteps of reality setting the rhythm once again. Theirs was a soft mewling in the grinding gears of the world. Everyone stepped around the puddle of self and soul and emotion that had poured from their astounding music and had gone about their day. And that was just fine with Ritsuko. She didn't want to be noticed, that's not why she played. She played for this moment. The quiet after a symphony, the fresh air from ripping the bandages away from her singed core. It lasted an eternity and a few moments, forever and a day. Ritsuko sniffled a bit, wiping at her eyes lest they form tears. It was nice to scream after the pain for once, and not an angry scream. Not a challenge to the world or an ultimatum. Crying felt good sometimes, to let your sadness be known? It hurt to let it all go, but it was relief. It was all she wanted to do, in truth. To run away and curl into a ball and cry. To leave behind the ache that chased her so. The ballad of mourning had been for herself, she admitted. And Ritz knew she was the only one that would weep at that funeral.
She leaned forward over her knees, cradling her guitar closer to her chest, allowing her hair to blanket her face like a shroud. Her legs swayed weakly on her perch on the wall, the sullen musician's small body not allowing all but her toes to touch the ground. Ritz shivered slightly with her arms folded across her chest, hugging Aoide. She wanted to lie down in the street and never get up, never leave this comforting memory. But it wouldn't last. She knew that. It never did. And that's what made her sad. This beautiful touch of soul would never again grace her, she would experience it's gentle caress no more. It was gone.
The boys words floated softly to her ears among the cold, uncaring world. They didn't break her protective shell, but molded to it to echo to her within. They resounded with a purposeful quiet, as if she herself had been thinking them herself.
...So... It's been that kinda day, has it?...
"*sniff* Ye-eah..." she shuddered, her voice cracking along with the ice she had coated herself with. She had lain herself bare, untensed her heart for a this sweet, uplifting moment and it didn't hurt. This was why she opened up, even after all the torment and abuse, after all the times it cut her deeper than any knife. These moments... this was what she wanted, deep down. No more. No less. Ritsuko spoke nothing further, allowing the moment to whisk her away in its ebb and flow. It would be gone soon. She wanted to enjoy it while it lasted. People came and went, days went by, but today? She would remember that forever.
Posts : 46
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:26 am|| |
The music might have ended, but the needle of that mental phonograph was still trailing the record. The crackling silence manifested as an unwavering calm across Lance's mind, each buzz of static a resonance of synapses as he pondered the woman next to him. Where she came from, who she was beyond just "some woman." She had laid her heart bare and he had seen her struggle, but he knew he had no clue of its depth. He could tell just from looking at her that rough days were the norm for her, but she didn't quite have the look of the delinquent who rebelled just because they could.
Her response to his words confirmed what he'd felt in their song, the tone of her voice reaching up and dragging him slowly toward her depth of sorrow. Empathic as he was, he couldn't help but feel for this woman, who likely went forgotten by the rest of the world and seen as just another deadbeat on the street or girl in a phase. He stood from the wall, placing his keyboard gently back in its bag before returning to the slab of concrete, re-positioning himself somewhat closer to her. Had he known her a bit better he would've thrown his arm over her shoulders and just let her exist and lean on him if need be, but he had to remind himself that a guy doing that to a random woman he'd just met could've been taken the wrong way. In fact it probably would've been taken the wrong way.
"I'll listen to any song if you wanna play it," he assured, looking out at the passing crowds. Something about watching people go about their lives in the glow of dusk was magical. Sobering. "Words or not, doesn't make any difference to me."
The phrases had a double-meaning, though it didn't really matter if the woman got it or not. Even if he didn't have the words to the story, her music gave him a sort of vicarious experience.
Posts : 172
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:19 pm|| |
She wiped her sleeve at her eyes a little as the people floated by them, coming and going to live out their own separate stories completely separate from this heartfelt moment. Forever lost to time, either they were or she and him were, that part wasn't clear. They were like ghosts or fog, white noise. She felt as if she could reach her hand out and run it through them as if she were sticking her hand into water. In a way that was true. It was just the two of them sitting in a little bubble away from everything going on around them, cordoned off from the world as time stood still for them both.
Feeling sorry for herself felt good sometimes, alone without the hate. It took up so much energy and patience and sense of well-being to despise everything and everyone all the time. Just being sad because things made you sad was nice for a change, and crying because you wanted to and not because anything made you. But it was never the best idea to dwell on it. Sadness was useless by itself, it led her down a dark road with no light. Even if the shade was a comfortable break from the burning heat of loathing she would quickly grow cold... and stop moving... It took a measured balance to keep her feet moving, and she sought this through her music to keep her level. Just enough despair to make everything meaningful, to be justified, to never forget where she came from. Just enough anger to keep her going, to do what needed to be done without stopping, to protect her fragile spirit from shattering. It was a sorry, pitiful life she lived... but it was hers. She alone would walk that road, no one else would do it for her.
His words were not lost on her, even if they didn't exactly make sense. I will be here for you whenever you need me, even just to be there.
At least, that's what she had taken from it. He could understand. She knew he was aware that her songs meant something even if they had no lyrics, all songs did. That was what music was about. Someone put emotion into sound so that other people could feel it without thinking about it and every note was a syllable of how they were feeling when they composed it. She had felt... exhausted. Worn down. Sick of going through the motions and living the life she had. She didn't want to stop living... but the life she wanted to live wasn't this one. And she'd never get there with the way things were, leaving her frustrated and sore at everything."...I don't wanna do this anymore..."
she said softly, gazing out toward the fiery orb that painted the street in warmth and twilight."...I just, I wake up and work a job I hate just so I can keep living here, but then I get home and... I feel like I'm just wasting my time."
Ritsuko gingerly set her guitar down next to her, allowing the neck to rest across her lap as she spoke, freeing up her hands to gesture as she spoke."I mean, I came her for a reason. To find something. And I... I guess I got trapped. I hate it, I just... don't wanna do it anymore..."
The antisocial musician heaved a shaky sigh, returning to complete silence as her empty eyes scanned the pavement in front of her. It wasn't very specific, or very important, and it wasn't even the major thing that was bothering her. The emptiness was what upset her most, that she'd continue living this life forever, powerless to do anything about it. Stagnation. Void. She felt like she could tell him things because he could understand... but she never thought she could tell anyone the whole story. It was her curse. She would deal with it by herself.
Posts : 46
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:38 am|| |
Lance listened to the woman's words as if it was an enthralling epic. It wasn't hard to see or hear the truth to what she was saying. There was a weight hovering over her, draining her. He couldn't be sure how heavy it was, but it was enough to break her down, to put genuine emotion in her voice and cause her to find solace in song. That in and of itself was enough for him to want to help alleviate some of that burden, enough to pull him under the silver-lined clouds of his usual cheerful and fleeting thoughts to the calm ocean of deeper thinking below. Those waters were placid now thanks to the music and the atmosphere now, but any sea could storm.
He was quiet for a long moment after she finished speaking, carefully picking his words. He wanted to say exactly what he meant; while he knew his genuineness would come across in his tone, he felt the situation important enough to be a bit less carefree with his speech.
"Lost sight of what you were looking for, huh? Or just haven't found it yet?" he inquired, looking out at the flow of people. He saw without really looking, icy blue gaze unfocused as the low waves of his thoughts churned. "I know the feeling, though. The day in and the day out where nothing really changes. I'm not gonna even try to say I totally understand what you're going through--we're all alone in our struggles in that respect--but I can understand getting tired. I can understand what I'm hearing from you. From your guitar. If you ever need anyone to listen--to really listen--you can find me over in Suzie Q most nights. If I'm not there I'm over in Sunlake."
He returned his full attention to her then, a friendly smile pulling softly at his features.
"Lance, by the way. Lance Lane. Some folks call me Crow, if you'd prefer that." he offered, giving a small tilt of his head. An unspoken inquiry for her name, but again not demanding the information. "It's nice to meet you."
Posts : 172
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:44 pm|| |
Ritsuko shook her head strongly, like a small child, her raven mane falling from her shoulders in reflective black waves. He was close... but still not quite there. Right tune, wrong tempo. But at least it lent credence to what he'd said. He doesn't understand. He doesn't understand because no one ever could and that made her sad. It wasn't that she was tired of the grind or bored or feeling like she wasn't meeting up to her potential like all those problems normal
people wrestled with. Ritz was coming from a bad place, a slow and miserable death on the inside. The way things were going she wouldn't have a future. She had no education, no money, no opportunities, no friends... Every day was a lonely march to a dead end. And all of it was pointless. She didn't wanna do it anymore. He wouldn't get it and she hoped he never did. Pity wouldn't be appreciated and only a handful of people on her list deserved to know what that felt like... but he tried. That was good enough for her."N...No. I know what I want and where to find it, I... I just... can't go do any of it. I've got all these things I don't want holding me back..."
The white noise was deafening as she turned to people-watching just as Lance did. The atmosphere struck her like a brick to the mind. It was time to go. She could read the situation just fine, and it was just as she predicted. This moment was dead and gone. Nothing lasted forever. It was better this way. Why force it? This moment would live forever within herself as it is, there was no need to complicate it. That's not what she wanted. Ritsuko didn't need anything cluttering up her life. She shouldn't
need anyone to speak to. In a perfect world that's how it would've worked, everything would be fine and she could handle her own issues alone... but that wasn't how things worked. She might've needed to speak to someone sometimes but she sure as hell didn't want
to. It wouldn't help. There wasn't much that could.
Solemnly she began to unzip her guitar case, gingerly placing her muse inside as the boy spoke. She herself planned to be in Suzy Q that evening... but a part of her wished she wouldn't see him there. She didn't want to seem desperate. Her head turned towards the taller teen when she felt him go silent, locking her dull browns with his electric blues. It was like looking into a flashing thunderstorm. Suddenly he was a lot closer, and no matter how soft his expression, she recoiled slightly. In that moment she wasn't the bitter, jaded adult she made herself out to be, what sat cowed before him was a shy, frightened little girl that grew up a little too fast with too little positivity in her life. One that had never learned that trusting could ever be a good thing."U-umm... Ritsuko..."
mumbled the loner as she shrunk back. Opening up was fine at times but it made her feel... vulnerable. She didn't want to get too close, nothing ever good came of it.
The small Japanese woman almost had to swing herself down from the ledge, shouldering her guitar as she did so. Crow was quite the odd name, but apparently people had a fondness for those things. Like Wandering Parlor Ghost. The odd moniker disarmed her avoidant behavior a tiny bit, but not enough to get her to look him in the eye again. The eyes were the windows to the soul, and she didn't feel like sharing hers again."Umm, I live just over there..."
Ritsuko awkwardly pointed down the street toward her hotel. She didn't know what else to do or say. Talking with people wasn't really her go-to activity."I... I gotta be going now..."
she stated, not even giving a reason for it. She hadn't felt the need for it, she was already radiating waves of "I don't wanna be here right now". Besides, the sun was dying and she was still in her work clothes. Shyly giving a wave, Ritsuko shuffled forward to blend seamlessly into the crowd that ignored them just moments before, feeling both a little better and a little more uncomfortable.
Posts : 46
Join date : 2016-10-09
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:13 pm|| |
A sour note plucked loud and clear across Lance's mind, bringing a slight narrow to his eyes. Something had shifted about the mood of the conversation, he assumed in response to what he'd said. That idea was confirmed by the words that followed, though that was a perfect example of what he'd meant. He couldn't completely understand her personal struggles, and thus they would always be on slightly different wavelengths. It was only ever his hope that those different frequencies could reach some sort of harmony every now and again.
There was no pity in the teenager's expression as he gazed upon the woman, even as she shrunk away and meekly gave her name. He thought little of her vulnerability, for to him it was a sign of friendship. Welcoming, no matter how tentative.
He gave an assuring nod at the name, though he had trouble veiling the disappointment he felt upon seeing her preparing to leave. The moment was over, he realized, but it hurt a bit to know that it had ended by his word. Still, she trusted him enough to let him know where she could be found, and he couldn't help the faint, hopeful smile from pulling across his lips as she said her hasty goodbye and melted back into the crowd.
Except she didn't quite melt anymore. Those were people. That was Ritsuko, in there among them. The guitarist who could speak through song, move through melody. He watched her silhouette until even it was devoured by the flow of bodies, and the phonograph finally reached the end of the reel. The world's echoes began to ring out once more, and slowly the noises of life drew him back to sunnier thoughts. He tucked his Casio back into its duffel, slinging the bag over his shoulder and casting his gaze to the sky. His expression--ever cheerful--was tired, but his spirit had been uplifted.
...Maybe he would venture down to Suzie Q.
[Lance takes his leave.]
Posts : 2098
Join date : 2013-10-06
Age : 22
|Subject: Re: Crossing the Muses [Daichi] Today at 6:21 pm|| |