Villain's Concert

Meant to be read while listening to Trio Eligiaque No.1 in G Minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff.


He looked like a villain. From somewhere in Eastern Europe, with fair skin and well-kept hair - long, straight and always combed to the left. He would always dress tidily and his navy socks would show in the small gap between his pants and glistening sharp dress shoes.

He played cello and was currently absorbed in playing his part in Rachmaninoffs Trio Eligiaque No.1 in G Minor. The trio had found a certain chemistry, and the exploration of their combined talents had led to a concert at Carnegie Hall a year later. They weren't performing on one of the bigger stages that are meant for an unfamiliar audience; rather they had been expected to fill a humble, small theatre with enough seats for friends and family but not much more. Friends and family who would yet again be amazed at how someone so familiar could induce feelings that were so foreign. Feelings about something abstract, which bothered them more than feelings produced by concrete, first hand experiences. Feelings that didn't matter to them, that were unrelated to them. Feelings that weren't about them, but felt as though they should be.

The chandeliers seemed particularly shiny and colorful, but of course they were not. His body moved to the music. His head particularly, the only visible part of his body not occupied with operating the cello, took advantage of this freedom and swayed to the music. This movement was not random, it corresponded to the piece they were performing. But to the lights this wasn't obvious. They had to patiently wait, looking at his dark brown hair until they were given a random interval, that would rarely last more than 3 seconds, during which they had the privilege to see, and thereby reveal, the details of his face. Because each light was unique in its angle and lifetime, the color of his face would change depending on which lights his movements let through. The piece, for however many minutes it stayed alive, cycled through the myriad of possible appearances of his face.

One of the men in the audience, sitting towards the back, could not see the villain’s face. Unlike all the rest of the attendees, he had no relation to any of the performers. A couple of weeks ago, he had dozed off during the Fantasy Overture of the Lincoln Center Orchestra’s performance of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet. The series of dreams he acted through during those twenty minutes were like no other. He woke up, when someone nudged his shoulder, in a hazy, surreal state, that ruined the rest of his day but was undoubtedly worth the short lived bliss. Ever since that day he had been attending concerts, particularly classical ones, at least twice a week. The late afternoon of the villain’s concert was a perfect time to dream.