A Daughter Gives Birth to Her Father
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As we eat ice cream together, the Sandinista and I, we agree we are full of unspooled dreams, surfing our futures with a tune or a ruse, hoping for a break before we get broken, except we are very different: He has a daughter, and I am a zombie.
We dressed our schemes as dreams for two days, and marveled at how we still wait for that break, looming, fortune crouching in the shadows of one more song. But who needs fortune when you have a weapon as potent as your daughter, the piano player?
Why not give her what he’s got?
“You are hostage to the musician in you, Luis, the rebel playing a flame nobody hears. And you don’t want to end up like Mozart.”
Because Mozart died in hell, in a fever, crying disconsolately, lamenting that all his music was written for cash, heartbroken that nobody would hear the music he’d kept inside, just for himself, while he performed like a trained monkey for nobles and royalty, biding his time until he got his break, and the first commission he got without strings attached came with the fever that killed him, and he died terrified, broken-hearted, in tears, and that’s Mozart!
Hold on to it too tight for too long and you will kill the music. So you might as well give it to her. Give her you, everything you’ve got. Surrender, and teach her. Look what keeping yourself to yourself has got you, walking around on a Saturday night with ice cream in your hand. He laughs, of course, but then I say: If I had a daughter, I wouldn’t keep being me.
I film them together, playing together for the first time, the next morning. He’s on guitar, repeating a phrase from a song about revolt, and she’s on piano, trying to mimic his melody. We do this for 37 minutes, the same four-line verse over and over and over, and I tell Luis to change each line’s emphasis, try to trip her up, but Sari follows, hanging in there, until I tell her she’s got to close her eyes and play the song for the band she and I discussed the night before, where a seven-foot Miskito shaman’s daughter out of the jungle dances on the lip of the stage, and a short albino punk from Holland is on the bass with his back to the crowd, and a surfer from Thailand plays the drums standing up as he bounces like a pogo stick up and down: it's time to give them something to chase.
This last bit is whispered in Sari's ear as she follows her father, and I back away but keep the video close on her face: When her eyes open she’s pounding a derivative over the keys, jamming a slightly different tune which her father now effortlessly follows, a surprised smile smeared on his face, and they jam like this for an hour, surrendering to each other and following the music.
This picture we make an hour later, before I go, and I tell Sari she will have to take the music from her father without waiting for him to give it to her by himself, and the expression on his face is a labor pang, as he gives birth to something he thought was his.
In the story My Secret Nicaragua.
Also by seanie blue
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