"Moving with the Music"
by Sue Robishaw
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Just a place to live, that's all. Sara wasn't depressed, wasn't anything, she was just--here, in the city, in a place that needed more than a little cleaning. The laughter, the music, the intense caring and caring for, that was all past--or was it?
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The music. That’s what floats around her mind when she
thinks about those days. The first time she had walked into Aron’s apartment it
was alive with music. It was a little off-putting, though as a home care nurse
she was well used to quite a variety of introductions on her first visit. Her
knock had gone unanswered so she double checked the address then knocked again,
loudly. Music was seeping through the cracks around the door but she heard a
far-off, ‘Come on in; door’s open’. Dutifully she opened the door and stepped
in, shutting it behind her. But the music didn’t stop. As she stood there
waiting for him to turn the music off or down, the notes crescendoed, then
crashed rudely amidst expletives and laughter. Two voices, two instruments, not
a recording at all. The music was very much live, as was Aron, and his friend
Her first visit; Aron’s first diagnosis. The disease
came and went, as did her visits, in the beginning. Larry was sometimes there;
music always was. If it wasn’t being played, it was being discussed, often
passionately, Aron’s spirit flying high, eyebrows ever on the move as he agreed,
disagreed, questioned, noted, batting the exchange back and forth with Larry and
their instruments. The relationship flowed as naturally and sometimes as
chaotically as the notes. It was an unsteady but rather heady time.
No one talked about why she was there, least of all
Aron. She just did her job, and then more as time went on. Aron became brother
and friend. His laughter, his humor, his dedication to filling the moments with
what was most important to him - music - taught her a lot. When he couldn’t play
out any more his music life moved into his apartment, years of gigs and jams in
his fingers, his mind, his dreams, his music. And most of the time Larry was
right there with him.
Larry. His laughter was more down-to-earth, his passion
tuned as carefully as his guitar. It was surprisingly fast, their relationship,
hers and Larry’s, not something she’d expected nor been looking for. Or had she?
Maybe, but not in a client’s home. But life hands you want you want, just not
with the neat pretty details you’d imagined. That was OK; it felt good, those
early days that fell into months, years.
Then Aron needed more care. She quit her job and she
and Larry moved in with him. They were married. She became pregnant. Did they
get married first? Or later? Thinking about it now, she wasn’t sure. It all
blended together. Aron’s health wasn’t getting any better but they had good
times even then.
Then. The notes spiraled down, accelerating to discord.
To Sara it happened all at once, though logic and pieces of paper told her
otherwise. She could sort it out if it mattered, but it didn’t. It happened.
Aron died, the baby died. She found part-time employment, then Larry’s job went
elsewhere, where he didn’t want to go. With Aron gone the landlord could now
raise the rent and he did, a lot, more than they had. There was no more
laughter, no more music. They had to move.
Larry found a job in the city. It seemed to her like they were going to a foreign land. They started looking for a place to continue their lives.
~ ~ ~
excerpt from "Moving
with the Music"
NOTE: The original print version, titled "Carlos's ma's Friends", is now out of print.