I don’t care what they say
I won’t stay in a world without… music.
The summer before I entered second grade, my family moved to a house on a court in a neighborhood with rows of cookie-cutter homes standing side-by-side on straight streets.
The family that lived in the house on the left corner of our little street had an Irish Setter. I think we (kids) called her “Big Red”. I don’t know if that was her real name, but that’s what she looked like to us. When Big Red had a litter of puppies, I had dreams of bringing one home with me to be a friend to our family dog. It was a dream left unfulfilled, however…
In the corner house on the right, there was an older couple that often played opera music, loudly. I used to ride past their house on my bike a lot, back and forth, stopping every once in a while on the sidewalk, but trying not to look like I was paying any attention to them. It was hard, though… because they had their front door and windows open all the time, so the music had no choice but to escape outside.
Some neighbors didn’t like it. It just wasn’t their style, I guess. Or maybe they didn’t understand people who were moved enough by musical works of art to display them so openly for all to share. I don’t know. Maybe it was just the noise level that they found offensive. I, myself, am not really an opera aficionado, but… when sounds so beautiful were filling the air, I found it hard to believe anyone would think to discount them so easily.
I just couldn’t help being drawn in. I would make up excuses to stop on the sidewalk and peer inside the “opera house” — like checking my bike tire to see if it was inflated enough, or if any of my colored straws had spun off the spokes of my wheels. What I really wanted to know was what the people looked like — the ones who lived there and listened without a care in the world, opening up their home to anyone and everyone to enjoy the music they were playing.
Even after I would ride away, I’d be picturing myself standing in the middle of their living room just taking it all in. I don’t know if they ever saw me watching and listening from outside… looking through the windows for someone who may be sitting in a chair singing in their head as they leafed through a magazine… or dancing in the kitchen as they made dinner. Or maybe doing something like this. But that’s the age I was when I decided: That is the kind of life I want to have.
Open, free, shared, alive… and filled with love, magic and music.
If this sounds remotely familiar, it
may be because I mentioned it and
the neighborhood once before.