She possessed a haunting, lilting voice. Hard to age by ear or eye, I watched as she took centre stage in every aspect of its meaning. The other singers became as statues, their faces unobserved, voices unnecessary, the lavish set as nothing other than a backdrop to her. For me, it was the diva’s first and last performance.
Not long after her magical rendition as Cho-Cho-San in Madame Butterfly, the diva who shall remain nameless, for to name her is to undermine her mystique, developed that most awful of human conditions referred to by its initial alone to which there was no cure; it stole her voice and lessened our souls.
I thought how cruel it was for that earthbound angel, for her audiences, for her legacy and worst for the world, to have lost so much whilst still in her prime. I even told a friend of my feelings. She smiled in her own demure way and said, “The world has lost nothing just grown less vivid.”
I spent many years thinking my friend wrong, harsh even, but now as I pass into eternity, the diva’s voice whisking me away on lyrical currents, I suspect it was destiny. She has eased the burden on my departing soul as she did the day she stole it.
Wind in the meadow
Tickles the lively crickets
There's jazz playing. I hate jazz. My face gives me away.
"Not a jazz fan, huh?"
He ignores my abrupt reply.
"It's more than music, man, it's a feelin'".
"I'm not feeling it."
"Coz yer eyes are open, man. Close 'em. S'like love."
I do. He's right. It is.
A slide guitar slit through the coffee shop like a catamaran the sea. I imagined the chords gently easing aside the customers, the grinding granules, the general hullabaloo with the same simple efficiency of a gravedigger the cemetery's ochre soil. Apt, as it always was my favourite place to haunt.
She leant over the piano like a soldier his first clean bed after years of war. Her eyes closed, fingers ran over the spruce, lips curled into a gentle memory. And I loved her more than ever as I signed I understood. She didn't see me just smiled some more.
She liked talking, me, headphones. Perfect.
The jukebox clicked over: Bowie, Let’s Dance.
The tips of her long, auburn hair twitched, then shuddered, then shook. Her head swayed as her arms loosed themselves from her sides. Freedom. She was free. Lost and found. I watched her red shoes, a scarlet blur, and smiled. She deserved it.