back contents next January 30, 2000

Traumnovelle: Ghost in the Machine

It was hard and smooth. I held the guitar in my hands and it was awkward, but strangely familiar. I placed my fingers on the strings in a semi-forgotten chord and strummed. The instrument sang. I smiled. I didn't expect it to sing so well. I switched my fingers around, this time without looking at the placement of my fingers. I was a little rusty but the position felt natural. My fingers fell into what felt like slots and my fingers were uncharacteristically firm as they pushed down the strings.

I strummed with my right hand and another sweet chord came out. It surprised me, but my awkwardness was leaving me. I positioned the guitar in my lap a little better, hugging the instrument closer to me. I closed my eyes and let the fingers of my left hand feel the strings until it felt right. I didn't search for a particular chord or anything. I just let them fall.

I started picking with my right hand, one string at a time. Sweet music poured out of the guitar. It reminded me of the beginning of the Beatles' "Blackbird". I opened my eyes and looked down and noticed my left hand switching chords calmly but swiftly with great adeptness. I smiled and sighed, both hands playing wonderfully on the guitar. It was so strange. I could tell that I was moving my fingers. I was the one making them move, but the instructions on where they should move weren't coming from me. It's the feeling that one gets after playing the piano for many years. You look at sheet music and you place your hands on the piano and you command them to play what's on the written page and they just do it. It's natural. The hands feel right. They are supposed to be on those keys at that time and they know exactly where to go the next second because your eyes are glued to the sheet music and you can read the next set of instructions. Playing the guitar was like that. It was natural but this time I had no sheet music. I couldn't tell my fingers where to do next but they knew. Somehow, they knew. And it felt right.

I stopped playing. The last chord seemed to bounce unnaturally off the walls. I smiled and put the guitar down, intent on finding Mike and showing him what I've found. This hidden talent, burning in me, needed an audience. I stood up from my seat, suddently struck with what felt like motion sickness. I didn't feel like I was standing up -- it felt more like lying down.

I turned and realized I was lying down. I flung my eyes open and everything was dark.


back contents next

© Copyright 2000 Eileene Coscolluela