The piano sounded so lovely in the wafting into the air above the open air bar. The player was hitting the keys just soft enough, just syncopated enough to perfectly match the feeling of the scene. I always forget that a piano is a percussion instrument, it always felt separate, it’s own category.
She felt the same way. One could put her in categories, woman, 20 something, Hong Konger, but they all never seem to fit, or they fit but don’t tell the whole story. For me she’s always been a category unto herself. A one-off creation. And like the smooth movement of the black and white keys, and their syncopated rhythm; her gentle smile and the flutter of her eyelashes match the bar perfectly.
Outside the austral spring sun was just casting its salmon glow over the city. The jetliners sparkled as they lifted off above the city and banked out over the river, on to places afar.
She sipped her beer, amber and biter. She grimaced a bit from the sour hops, then relished the taste. Pleasure pain.
A waitress came around and we ordered a second round. Another IPA for her, and another lager for me.
She finished her beer and routed around in her purse. She pulled out her phone and opened the app to request songs for the bar. The system had a list of all the songs the guy on the piano knew. She scrolled through them, with those eyelashes playing beautifully again. I hoped she’d scroll for hours so I could simply behold her.
When I was in highschool in Madrid I used to go to the Reina Sofia and look at the Picassos. I could spend hours with the paintings. They held my eye, I never wanted to look away. I felt every second I could see some new line, some new contour that opened up a new world of color and beauty.
Now amongst the salmons and pinks of the sky her eyelashes hold me the same way. Each blink sets the drawn circles held within at a new angle, refreshing the beauty each time and allowing me to see them anew. Each blink brought a new world of beauty.
She selected a Coltrane song, and the piano man started into it. She smiled at the pleasant surprise that her song was picked right away. A huge smile cut across her face like the jets cutting through the stratosphere above. Her smile warmed me to my core, and the Coltrane set the rhythm of my heart to her frequency and I cranked the dial to max volume.
We sat there until dusk blanketed the city, though for me she stood far above, with the southern cross, bathing those of us below in celestial light.