I cut my teeth writing on Hubpages back in 2009. I've written 17 novels, numerous songs, and short stories since. I love to write love.
Music and peace.
Amayah peeked out of the front cracked window in the tin-roofed and walled house her husband, Dannel had built from scraps over the last five years. He was working part-time for a local bricklayer, helping with foundations for a new clinic the area desperately needed. Amayah scraped and saved enough of her meager earnings from selling handmade necklaces to tourists on the coast to buy a cello. She learned to read and write music in school as a young girl and loved the way it was written on paper. Amayah often wrote her own arrangements for songs. She called the notes, "Dancing Dominicans. "She had just boiled some plantain to make a mangu dish for supper. She heard people walking by on the street having conversations about so many things, children, food, weather, tourists, and money.
She would smile at hearing some things and grimace at hearing others. Amayah could rarely concentrate on her music because of the constant hustle and bustle. She would sometimes put cotton in her ears, close her eyes and play as loud as she could, just to feel the wonderful vibrations in her hands and her knees. Dannel came home and found her playing vigorously and loud. He shouted, "Amayah, Amayah...why are you playing like that?" She stopped, took the cotton from her left ear and Dannel asked, "Why are you playing with your ears plugged and your eyes closed tight?"
Amayah smiled and said, "I am trying to feel the music. I wish I could look at the sky and play for the birds and clouds. There are so many distractions here. I am interrupted by loud voices and even sometimes screams. No matter where I sit in the house, I hear and often see the world through the windows. Outside is even worse." He thought for a moment, kissed her on the forehead, and said, "I'll make you a place to play. You may still need the cotton but you can send your music to the heavens."
They finished supper and Dannel went right to work. He had a large pile of rusted tin roofing that had been by the side of the house for months. By nightfall, he had driven 24 metal posts into the ground. For the next three evenings, he and Amayah fastened the tin sections to the posts. Dannel made a gate with one section. He traded a half day's work for two gallons of green oil-based paint. The paint smelled pretty strong and Amayah couldn't be inside the fence for a few days.
The fence painted green.
Music can make you dance.
It was a Sunday afternoon and the streets were bustling as usual. Amayah took her molded plastic chair and music folders out to the yard. She smiled as she could hear the people but could see nothing but the green fence and the sky. Dannel was following behind her with her cello, bow, and music stand. She sat down and he handed her the cello and bow. He sat the stand up for her and she placed her music sheets on it. She sawed the bow over the strings a few times. Dannel said, "I don't see cotton in your ears." Amayah smiled and said, "I have the sky now. God can hear and see me play. The noise is a little less because of the fence." Dannel grinned and climbed up on some crates at the south side of the fence. He had the perfect view of Amayah and the people walking by outside of the fence. Amayah asked, "Any request from my esteemed audience?" Dannel grinned and said, "Yes...I would love to hear Ritmo Sobroso (Tasty Rhythm) by Johnny Ventura."
Amayah gave him a little smirk and, "I knew you were going to say that," look. Dannel smiled as she found the song in her music papers. She began to play and strangely the tin fence seemed to make an echo and the music was louder and seemed to have a slight reverb effect. Dannel began to pat his feet and then played an accompanying beat on the side of an empty wooden crate like a bongo drum. Amayah played the song like never before. Her smile was wide, her eyes were open and her soul danced on every line with every note. Dannel noticed a few people stopping to listen and even a young couple dancing. Amayah had played for about three minutes and there were many gathered now outside the green fence. She looked up to see a little girl who was on her father's shoulders, clapping and grinning. Dannel shouted, "Keep playing, they're dancing!"
More children on adults' shoulders began peeking over the fence and clapping along with Dannel to the beat of the music. Amayah played the Ritmo Sobroso for nearly fifteen minutes. She heard amazing applause from the other side of the green fence. She got up, leaned her cello on the chair, climbed up on the crates with Dannel, gave her wonderful audience a humble bow, and blew them a kiss. As she climbed back down the crates, Dannel saw tears in her eyes. He softly asked, "Amayah, what is wrong?
Smiles of sound.
She looked at her cello and said, "I have played the same song in this very spot before the fence was here. At best a few children would stop and listen. An old woman did once but then begged for food. Why did the people love the music when they couldn't see where it was coming from? I'm sure those very same people have heard me play my cello as they walked by before so many times.
Dannel gently brushed her tears away with his fingers, kissed her, and said, "My sweet Amayah, the Angels do wonderful things for people all the time and the people look right at them but ignore their blessings." Amayah sighed, "I know but why Dannel, why?" He smiled and answered, "When they saw you playing, they barely listened. They were too busy bustling about to stop for a street musician. When they heard you playing but couldn't see you, they listened closer, hearing the beauty of your music."
Dannel kissed her again as a little girl with yellow bows in her pigtails who was being held up by her parents, peeked over the green fence, and asked, "Do you know the song, What A Merengue?" Amayah smiled wide at her and said, "If you come in here and sing it, I will play it." As clouds floated by in the sky and three little birds landed on the green fence, Dannel smiled and opened the gate.
Ritmo Sobroso by Johnny Ventura
Merengue music and dance.
© 2022 Tom Cornett