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|Dum Spiro Spero (standard:romance, 10788 words)|
|Author: J. Nicklaus||Added: Jan 23 2002||Views/Reads: 2212/1546||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A choice between that which one loves to do, and that which one loves.|
Shrieks of canned sitcom laughter fell from the small dual speakers of the television in the living room, while the sibilant chatter of mom on the phone echoed in the tiled kitchen. Twelve-year-old Jalan looked at the clock above the back door-8:30 pm. Bedtime, but not if he could help it. Pre-teen fingers slowly touched the latch on the sliding glass door. Gently he lifted it, hoping the ambient noise would drown out the click when it released. Looking around he saw neither Dad nor Mom noticed. Silently he slipped outside and eased the big door shut behind him. Jalan had always enjoyed fall. The stars twinkled like the sun off a summer lake. The night held a special kind of magic for him, too young to know or understand why, just a feeling. Staring into the sky, he seemed to search for the answer to a question he didn’t even know yet. The brisk night air wrapped him in a blanket of thoughtfulness. He never heard the door slide open, so his mother’s voice startled him. “Time for bed, hun.” “Jeez mom, don’t do that!” “Sorry about that. C’mon in and get into bed. It’s a school night.” “I know, I know. I’m coming.” Grudgingly he shuffled inside and headed for the bedroom. One last pre-sleep consolation awaited him. His transistor radio. “Goodnight Dad, goodnight Mom” he mono-toned, slipping by as they sat glassy-eyed in front of the television. They both answered without looking. Jalan headed straight for the top drawer of his desk. Pulling it open he drew out the small radio he used every night. Making sure the dial was set he stepped over and flipped the light switch. Carefully he turned the unit on; the familiar warm glow of the power indicator softly bathed his face in pastel red. Music seemed to be the only thing to soothe and lull him to sleep. He felt some deep connection to it. He drew back the covers on the bed and slipped between them, simultaneously positioning the radio under his pillow and raising the volume just loud enough to be heard through it. A routine the youngster had tacitly perfected over many years. Lying on his left side, he listened to the layers of music pumped through a tiny speaker, letting his mind drift into fantasy, imagining it was he singing the words. He let himself absorb the sounds and adulation of the improbable crowd. One song after another he listened to, until they began to bleed one into the next. Another night he tricked his mind into slumber, another step towards hope and achievement. II Something was off, and Jalan knew it, felt it. Again he heard the irritating pop of the booth intercom as it cut into his headphones. “Try it again” grumbled the weary voice. Jalan snapped. “Dammit Mack! Can’t you find ONE good take from the last twenty! I haven’t changed a single pitch or octave since take eight! Jesus!” “What the hell is wrong with you, man?” bellowed the producer from behind the thick, angled studio glass. Mack was not one to be trifled with or questioned. He took the reins from the start and never intended to let go until the masters were turned over to production. For Jalan to imply he wasn’t doing his job right only served to light a very short fuse. Again that annoying pop in the headphones. “We gotta talk. NOW.” Disgusted and bent out of shape, Jalan yanked the Sennheiser headphones off his head and tossed them carelessly aside. He was pissed and didn’t care who knew it. Storming through the heavy soundproofed door two dozen thick-tongued explicatives barreled through his head. With the sliver of dignity he had left he thought better of blowing up and kept his mouth shut. He rounded the corner of the booth to see Mack cradling his forehead in his hands. Little lights blinked, SMPTE digital Click here to read the rest of this story (1299 more lines)
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