When I was younger, I learned how to play the piano. It all went well until the piano started jumping at the quiet whisper of my fingertips. I realized my hands grew along with me, shaking just the same. I called for Mozart’s ghost and screamed for Beethoven’s help. They all had nothing to do, nothing to offer me, but I swear they smiled. A smile that held a promise I couldn’t quite decipher at that moment. Maybe it’s because I was only seven.
I knew I’d go back one day, searching for a muse. I believed music would pull me back even if my shaking hands chose to let go. After 10 years of struggling, then came recovery.
I got myself a black guitar and named it after my favourite rock star. I learned how to play it, very easily. Like I’ve known how to all along, like it was my regular cup of coffee. I won’t deny it; it felt like music was opening her arms wide for me, welcoming me with no sign of blame, but rather with all forms of forgiveness.
Months later, my hands were shaking again. I couldn’t press hard enough on the strings, and often a melody would escape out of tune. I called for all the ghosts of my favourite rock stars. I screamed for Cobain & I knew Morrissey was somewhere to be found. But then it hit me. Till this day, a part of me wishes it had come in waves. I wish it had prepared me before it hit the shore, showing itself. Till this day, I still find myself blaming my sight for not noticing it earlier, not seeing it coming.
I took the realization very gently, like reading a “eulogy”–out loud–of someone you do not remember much of, to people you do not hear much of.
The eulogy, it said:
There comes a time when music isn’t the ultimate cure. The music won’t heal you or promise you survival.
But it won’t escape. It will never leave you. The music has nowhere to go, but also nowhere to take you.
I learned that they were wrong. Everyone was wrong; it doesn’t get better. Just quieter, less tense.
I haven’t developed a will to live but my will to die is not growing—static. A part of me still fears that a day will come when I won’t stand the quiet after the storm. But I trust that I would comfort myself. I would stand still and cry myself a hurricane then wait for a rainbow. Maybe, just maybe then, the music can save me.