A NOTE BEFORE READING: I began sharing weekly excerpts from my novel, The Somebody Who, on June 26th. If you want to begin at the beginning, go here. If you want to read the book in its entirety, head over to Amazon and purchase a copy. (There’s a button on the left that will take you there).
That afternoon, Evelyn and Claudia are team-building in the kitchen. Evelyn had come across a recipe in the Sunday newspaper, and its middle-eastern flair whetted her appetite. When she realized that all of the exotic ingredients were already somewhere in her kitchen, she decided it was fate.
Because their rhythms are common, Evelyn and Claudia enjoy being quiet together as much as they enjoy chatting. In this way, they both share the unspoken understanding of introverts: the presence of more than one person in a room does not always necessitate conversation.
Evelyn is at the kitchen’s center island. She is tending to the beguiling array of ingredients that will create a deepdish casserole’s marinade: tahini, cumin, curry, cinnamon, garlic, dill weed, black pepper, honey, lemon, hot sauce.
Claudia is at the stove. Having just checked the chicken in the oven, she is now stirring the rice on the front burner.
Suddenly, their quiet, meditative ritual is interrupted by a strange and emotional sound. Mournful music, coming closer.
It is Davy.
He has retrieved his saxophone from its resting place in the corner of the living room. And he is playing it like the musical genius he once was.
Evelyn stops crushing garlic, and Claudia holds still the wooden spoon with which she has been stirring the rice. They both look toward the doorway, where Davy stands, swaying with his sax. A perfect melody coming from somewhere within his soul.
Evelyn is dumbfounded by the capacity he is showing. She knows he can’t name the instrument that he is holding, and to her knowledge, it is the first time in years that he has touched his sax. But that doesn’t matter. He is playing now. And it is beautiful.
His melodic one-man jam lasts for three minutes, maybe more. And then Davy drifts back down the hall, riffing quietly.
When he is out of sight, and the musical interlude has stopped, Claudia approaches the center island, stands next to Evelyn, and looks up into her face. “Evelyn,” she says, with a loving smile and a hint of her trademark sarcasm, “I know onions make a person cry, but I didn’t know about
“Go figure,” replies Evelyn, her voice breaking slightly.
Evelyn and Davy eat dinner together that night. The chicken and rice dish, which spent the better part of the late afternoon in the oven, is tantalizing and comforting at once. And although they have no dinner conversation to speak of, Evelyn enjoys sharing this meal with her husband.
* * *
to be continued on October 2nd.
In the meantime, if you want to read a short piece about the back story, click here.