Drabble 178 – Melolognia

A photo of a person playing the cello.

There are very few things I’ve been able to dedicate myself to. I’ve always had a fear of commitment, which for me is actually a fear of boredom. Worse, I think it may actually be a fear that anything I enjoy, anything I care about, will eventually turn sour. Nothing can last forever.

I have always loved music, but have never loved it enough to make it. I took band in middle school and spent a year learning the trumpet. I got bored with it and switched to the clarinet. I got bored with that, and instruments are expensive, so I quit music.

Nothing can last forever, I told myself, though never in words. When I imagined my future, it was never fixed. It wasn’t just different every time—even one vision of what I might be like shifted from one thing to another. My future self was always in a state of transition.

There will always be a part of me that wants to run away to the woods, but, looking back, I see how much of me was always here, how many of those imagined versions of the future were based in fear. I haven’t gotten bored yet. I may not play any instruments, but at least I have that.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.


(n.) from Ancient Greek μέλος for “music”

Sexual arousal caused by music.

The cello brushes her thighs, relaxed but not at rest. Her body is tense, so she draws a shuddering breath through her nose, exhaling slowly through her mouth. She flexes her fingers, lets them dance along the strings in preparation.

The audience waits, breath held.

She elongates her neck, eyes to the ceiling, drawing the bow across the strings. The sound is low, a musical hum that pulls the audience forward in their seats, as rapt as if she’d drawn each of their chins upward with a touch of her fingers. She licks her lips, smiles, and begins to play.

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