Mozart and the MTA
Something in the truth stirs the sound receptor in my mind and I only hear the sound of mumbled marbles through choking mouths — like when I rushed to my Harlem bedroom window after hearing a plane passing really low, hand to mouth, rushed and stood pressed to glass — I could only hear the rumble of plane and whir of my imagination. And this only a month ago. I suppose it was nothing. Or at least no one ever heard about it. So whether violins or groans from underground brought me there it was something about the truth that stirred in me on this train headed to lots of places.
But now all I hear is the “routine” from a man in the subway. He parked himself in the middle of this uptown 4 and immediately took to two children on the laps of their parents. Now those kids are gone, scared off at Bowling Green with its orange painted brick stretch of walls, but the man continues, he’s moved up and down the train after apologizing for interrupting the day, the passage, the read, the concert etc. and has proceeded to entertain the train with imitation train noises for starters… This was actually met with delightful curiosity by the sister in a pair of children, whose haircuts were almost the same save a distinguishable few curls that sort of went through her head precociously, making her a cute but muppet-looking little rascal. And as the doors closed they “chimed” together, the man and the kid, and the ultimate showman exclaims proudly but still in his gruff tone, “she’s my partner, ladies and gentlemen. One more time…” and she never repeated the sound. Even I entertained the notion to help the faltering show. But he was fine, he was obviously some sort of falsetto genius and man about town — the underground town. Now he’s on to jokes and has quite a few people laughing or at least smiling. Even me through my Mozart, through it all.
I enjoy listening to Mozart underground because it seems to add a sense of driven purpose or at least justification for things I’ve seen down here. I like when the tender lush swells match a starting train before it catches hold of higher speeds. And twinkling piano trills ringing against the sea of squeals and even now the train runs smooth and these strings rage onward through the dark layered forest. The soot is a stream of midnight water and we go forth into the nothingness until the mechanics gives way to the logistics and the MTA fails Mozart. But here again the flight of keys black and white, up and down, a confluence of birds like people, perched or running, never flying. Reaching stretching all within Mozart’s grasp, it’s all within my grasp until even Mozart has to stop. And the steady mechanics of the track click track click track click takes hold of my heart and steadies the chaos once more.
But whether it be truth or chaos. The subway and Mozart are great antidotes.