Digital Ischemia

20/08/2018

Wratislaw part 9 of 10

A drily hyperbolic, humorous short story – a pianist with a passion for Janáček’s music finds the composer’s unrequited infatuation is part of the bargain

Wratislaw series begins at part 1

Somehow Wratislaw has relaxed a little. Perhaps Kamila listening quietly alongside him has something to do with it. He is addicted. He tries not to sound petulant.
“What did you think of me?”
“I was disappointed.”
“OK, thanks. Well, that’s that then.”
“What happened to the Janáček project?”
“Shelved. Total loss of…everything.”
“That is disappointing.”
“Apparently that’s me.”

Kamila shifts position slightly. Perspective.
“You said you wanted to feel unrequited passion, like Janáček. Perhaps I flatter myself, but is this not why you call me Kamila?”
“Now you sound like you’re trying to argue that you left me for the sake of my professional—”
“Exactly.”
“So I could play Janáček with true unrequited passion?!”
“You were disappointing. For me and your other audience.”
“You keep saying that! I was depressed! You should’ve told me!”
“That would have defeated the experiment.”
“Experiment?!” Wratislaw no longer cares if he sounds hysterical. “And how did that work out?”
“Apparently your psyche is not the same as his.”
Wratislaw’s own disappointment and frustration are neck and neck.
“Well, this has been a tremendous waste of time, and actually a pretty cruel and unethical psychological game, just to prove two people aren’t the same.”

Kamila’s composure indicates there is a solid explanation in his near future. He hates that. She’s back to questioning, luring him toward her cursed superior understanding.
“Tell me this now, completely truthfully: are you not glad you had the experience? Felt those things?”
“The anticipation is better than the actual thing?!”
“The anticipation is better than nothing.”
“I can’t possibly know without reliving my life differently.”
“What do you want to happen?”
“I want you to behave normally—no, not ‘normally’; I don’t know what that means—authentically.”
“Are you sure? Be careful what you wish for, Wratislaw.”
He smirks as the heady rush pours through him again.

Wratislaw lays back on the cool, damp ground and finds, at last, a shred of confidence. A question.
“What do you want to happen?”
Kamila looks away and breathes.
“I want to feel the precision, the clarity, the quiet confidence of your playing again. I want to feel that you will take me on this dangerous journey through the dark, enchanted forest, but that you know the terrain, and you relish every landscape feature you navigate. You will wrestle and vanquish the wild beasts. You will take me on an exhilarating adventure and give me new understanding. You will bring me safely out the far side of the forest without falling over the precipice. The full, unsanitised, emotional journey with a wise guide. Most of all, I want to feel that I have somehow been part of the event, that my presence has affected you too, that I have been involved and have enhanced your experience.”
“Is that all?” He notices he’s clutching her hand. When did that happen? After six years it’s surreal.

Suddenly he understands what he was doing thrashing around in the undergrowth. Conniving harpy. He’s so pathetically susceptible. He was never in any danger. She’s just shown him, let him experience directly, exactly what she wants. All he has to do is deliver. Simple.

…concludes at part 10

1 Comment »

  1. […] …continues at part 9 […]

    Pingback by Wratislaw part 8 of 10 | Digital Ischemia — 21/08/2018 @ 11:48


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