Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Laughter of a Red Priest


(New Mexico - 2015)

The Red Priest saved him. Thomas wanted to shake his hand, even though it was probably nothing but bones, if even that. Vivaldi gave him a second chance and he willingly took it. It began with parents who wanted more than the best for him, followed by unreasonable demands. Next came the girlfriend who told him that she never loved him and that he was a waste of time. A big scoop of constant rejection, denial from those who claimed to love him, and finished off with therapy, pills, and alcohol. Then came a Sunday when he saw a tattered album cover with the word VIVALDI written across it in black. A scene of a pasture, set to calm and induce moments of being comatose, yet it intrigued him. He took it home and put the record on, then wrapped himself up in a blanket and took a long pull of his glass filled to the brim with whiskey. A single violin, drawn out. It tapped him on the shoulder and said hello, causing Thomas' once drooping eyes to suddenly snap wide open. That one violin now joined with other instruments coming together in a gentle swell. He reached for his glass then dropped his hand as he instead closed his eyes and met the Red Priest.  Vivaldi spoke to him in Italian yet Thomas could understand his words. He showed him to a comfortable chair in a small room dressed in indigo and advised him and pay attention to when the instruments begin to laugh. When they did laugh, Thomas began to smile for it was a sound he'd never experienced before. How can someone put into words that an instrument can laugh, or cry, or even say that they love you? Yet, Vivaldi could do that with Thomas. The instruments introduced themselves to the lonely man and welcomed him into their world. He opened his eyes and glanced around at the silence within his apartment. For the first time, the silence was not there to choke him. He got up and turned over the album, then took the glass of whiskey and threw it away. As the instruments continued to show him their talents, Thomas felt the Red Priest's hand on his shoulder.

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