Surround Sound Morning

strumming guitarist
Every morning this week, the same notes awoke me before dancing out of reach. This time I found my guitar’s neck before my feet touched the floor. The melody descended like a waterfall in my head as I squinted against the morning sun. I fumbled a few seconds as the notes aligned themselves into a perfect refrain, and then a discordant sound intruded.

The noise started low before loping its way into a full-throttle one-lawnmower symphony. I fought the intrusion, pushing back with steel strings and wincing as the melodies beat against each other. Once the engine grew louder, I gave in and moved the pattern of my notes lower until the two sounds merged. The mower’s tone was now a droning wash beneath the strings, almost indiscernible from the guitar’s vibrating soundboard. With that insistent anchor, the rhythm came easier and faster until the sound beyond the window grew louder and threatened to overtake my strumming fingers. My unseen partner walked into view.

A golden sunlight halo backlit your hair and the summer tan covering your bare arms and legs. Pausing to turn the mower off, your wordless stare asked me to continue playing. I smiled and improvised a few lines before returning to the cascading notes of our duet.

Eyes closed, you swayed, the sound like a sudden breeze interrupting the summer heat. The music surrounded us like a cocoon, a river of notes fading as I strummed tentatively, searching for the next progression. I let the song end on an airy chord as you opened your eyes to the decaying sound. Unsure how to break free of the cocoon, you smiled.

With a pull of the cord the lawnmower roared to life. After a brief wave, you walked beyond my guitar’s reach. The chopping blade’s chorus faded as I found a new path of my own to cut.

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