The car puttered into its usual spot seemingly out of instinct. After a few idling seconds it went to sleep. Nothing moved. 30 seconds went by and then a minute yet there was still no movement. Ken sat in the driver’s seat staring blankly out of the front window with a state of mind that would make a Zen master envious. As the clock slowly ticked towards the two minute mark, something in the car finally stirred. Ken slowly opened the door and slid his way out. He opened the back door and grabbed his briefcase off the seat and his empty travel coffee mug off of the floor. He noticed but didn’t notice the new stain the not quite empty mug had made on the carpet. Closing the door Ken turned and walked zombie-like to the house.
Nothing really bad happened at work. Granted, nothing good happened either, but there was no reason for Ken to complain. He wasn’t crushed under an unbearable workload nor was he bored out of his skull by lack of work. It was pretty typical.
Sleep had been OK and Ken wasn’t feeling sick, just down. He felt despondent, not quite there. It wasn’t anything he could put his finger on. It was like he was experiencing the world through filtered glass. Blue. His world was seen through blue filtered glass.
That was it, he had the blues.
In the house Ken threw himself down on the couch and turned on the TV. He went to a movie site and punched in “Comedy”. The day’s choices were all childish drivel, uninspired farces or boring “bromances”. Not a thing jumped from the screen shouting, “Watch me!” He turned off the TV.
He plugged his iPod into the stereo and started flipping through his choices. There was no way he could handle rock in his current mood. The thought of pop made him feel nauseous. No pompous classical era or over the top romantic era music today, please. He thought of Schoenberg but quickly dispelled it. Perhaps Stravinsky? Shostakovich? No. He finally put on Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” and turned the volume down.
Ken next flipped through his cell phone but there wasn’t sole he really wanted to talk to.
Without thinking about what he was doing he got up and changed into his running clothes. The early spring chill in the air dictated sweats. Not an issue, he was just glad he didn’t have to put on the Hot Chillys under his sweats as did just a couple of days ago.
Running down his street Ken’s mind once more went into a blank, Zen state but it began to revive once he turned the corner out of the village into the countryside.
The air just smelled so wonderful and the chatter of birds made a constant soundtrack, better than any movie. Despite the subzero temperatures less than a week ago spring had finally arrived.
After a few minutes of passive observation Ken started to imagine what might lie just over the hills and on the other side of the fields. He began to think of creatures stumbling out into the woods after a long winter, blinking at the warming sun. The thoughts started to organize themselves. A story emerged from the mental images, twisted thoughts and kaleidoscopic chaos of sights, sounds and smells. An ancient Native American curse wakes up to a new world. That was it, a great storyline. The rest of the run zipped by in a blur as Ken’s mind filled in the details of the story.
Back home, after a quick shower, Ken found himself at the computer pounding away. His story “Into the New Spring Sun” quickly took shape on the screen as Coltrane’s “Favorite Things” played loudly in the background. Lost in his own world Ken almost didn’t hear the beep from his phone.
John had sent a text. “A few of us are going to The Tannery @ 8. Great new blues band.”
Ken looked at clock and then at the nearly finished story. He did a quick mental calculation that took dinner into account.
“I’ll be there,” he texted back.
Attention back to the computer, his fingers created a whole new world on the keyboard, the colorful images taking shape in black and white on the screen. He smiled and sang, “These are a few of my favorite things,” along with the music.
It was looking to be a great weekend.
Music video, John Coltrane “My Favorite Things” from youtube.
Reposted in part to celibate the 50th anniversary of the release of the movie “The Sound of Music”