Six months ago I started playing the saxophone. I used to play the piano. But it bothered me that I couldn’t hug the piano. And the sound comes from the finger-tips not from human breath. I tried singing for a couple of months. But I lacked any kind of talent. So a wind instrument was the next best option. I love Jazz and have always dreamed about joining a Jazz band.
‘You still have a long way to go,’ the Nymph comments as I return to my desk after what felt to me was rather quite a good practice session.
‘You ought to encourage me,’ I reply in a hurt tone. ‘Learning a new instrument will help me choose better books.’
Peirene raises an eyebrow. ‘That sounds pretty far fetched to me.’
‘It’s not.’ I’m aware of my defensive tone. After all, I do feel guilty taking time away from my work in order to practice for my weekly lesson. And admittedly I have already thought long and hard of how to justify my new passion to Peirene. I breathe deeply in and out and continue more calmly: ‘As we both know, good writing has a lot to do with rhythm. The more rhythm I have in my blood, the quicker I recognize good texts and the better I become in editing the translations, too.’
‘Interesting theory.’ Peirene turns her attention away from me and begins to type on her computer. Then she stops.
‘I think you took up the saxophone because you wanted to. And for no other reason. You don’t need to sneak back into the office after each practice turning the air heavy with your guilty conscience.’
I look at the Nymph in surprise. She’s got a point. ‘So you’re not angry with me for having decided to learn the Saxophone? Or worry that our programme for 2017 hasn’t yet fallen into place?’
She shakes her head. ‘It will fall into place, it always has.’ Then she pauses. ‘And, truth to tell, I rather like Ella Fitzgerald. She’s just the kind of woman we Ancient Greeks admired: soulful, strong, poetic.’ She pauses again. ‘So if you need a singer for your band…’ Her voice trails away. She has a far-away look in her eyes and I know that she’s already imagining herself on stage in a glittering dress, crooning to an enraptured crowd.
Image by chico 945, creative commons.