The High Note


The high note, sharp and alarming. You instantly know that something is wrong. It comes again, it moves in circles around your head. It’s coming and going. That same high note, sharp and alarming. Something is definitely wrong.

I have become finally free to die today. Think of me like you think of a table which is not there.

The high note comes from her open mouth and the audience gives her a standing ovation. Everything went perfectly and her closing note was impeccable, so clean, so clear, so well tuned. It’s that note everyone has been waiting for since the beginning; that note which they knew would come, but never knew when. This time it came at the end. Previous times, it came in the middle. Smack. A standing ovation in the middle of a performance seemed a bit queer, a bit strange, a bit off. To end with a high note is always the best option.

I am tired of listening to the ventriloquist voice of my soul and ignoring it. I’m tired of climbing the steep mountain that is life with a dwarf on my back heralding my incompetency, my impotency.

He presses the right hand keys of the piano, three dim and distant high notes follow each other. The piece has ended. He has played the catalogue of every great composer: Bach, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Schumann, etc. However, he never composed music of his own. His only contribution to the musical canon which he performed was the three dim and distant high notes, which sometimes broke the whole harmony of the composition, but it was his signature gesture. It marked his end.

It is too bad I have been an experienced simpleton; it is too bad I am not an emasculated, infantile complainer. The excitement is gone. There is no rush of blood anymore. I’m going mad again. My head is in the oven, the stones are in my coat, the shotgun is facing my belly. Cesspool of human waste. When the lamps of my consciousness expire, there will be no place for me on the pyre. I have none of the passion I had before. I’m burning out. It’s my decision. All the clouds of pink have turned to grey.

High notes come from all around us, every second of the day, every moment of a second. The tolling of a bell, the breaking glass, the ringing of metals, the clanging of keys, the ballad solos, the jazzy saxophone,  the orgasmic girlfriend, the tea pot.

I cannot recover anymore. I am standing so high above the ground and yet I feel that I’m looked down upon my earthly worms. I can feel it now before I commit to my decision, before you try and save me. I can hear the high note now, that dreadful alarming sound from which there is no coming back. The sadness will last forever. Excuse all the blood. At least I did not fire the weapon outdoors. It is not your fault. I am ending forever.

The sound of a shotgun from the roof of your building is not a high note. The silence after it is not a high note. Your heartbeat as you rush up, as everyone else is rushing up, as the feet bang on the ground like a platoon’s final march to victory, as the door of the roof breaks open and you see the blood splattered and the body on the ground with a bloody hole in it. Even the sound of the ambulance’s sirens as it comes is no longer a high note. You wait outside the ER, sitting frantically. Everything is low now. Everything is low. Suicide minimizes the movement and importance of everything that surrounds it. Your sigh is the lowest of them all as it fades so slowly, and it ends and you hear it. That high note which you were pushing away the minute you heard the banging shotgun blast. That high note of the electrocardiograph machine tells you she is over. She is a marble statue now, cold and heavy and white.


3 thoughts on “The High Note

  1. Julie

    i really really love it…well said…i’ll tell you something james joyce’s wife said to him: “why don’t you write a book ppl can understand?”…….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s