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Intelligence Quotient

The ivory cold, but warm from my fingers as I manipulate the tone-perfect keys; each stroke evokes a picturesque image.

The perfect feeling of thinking, thinking about nothing but the next note, or detached from it all, observing my thoughts through crystal clear glass, the keys of the piano providing organization and musical accompaniment.

I may not be good, but that doesn’t matter. It helps me seek refuge from thoughts clamoring for attention.

Somewhere, from outside the glass pane I have constructed, a vague feeling of discomfort shudders my concentration. Something, something is missing, but I can’t think what.

My thoughts are different, somehow. I stop playing abruptly, las bit of energy lingering in the pedal, resonation with the echoes of mental clarity.

My thoughts are still clear. I’m not bombarded by the usual brigade.

I begin to panic. What is wrong with me?

I hear someone clear their throat behind me, and I turn, slowly. I should’ve known they were there. Why didn’t I realize it until now? “What’s wrong with me?” I ask, whisper-quiet.

The person that I cannot place a name to shifts uncomfortably and gives me a strange look. “It was your decision.”

“What was?” I slam the piano cover down and whirl around on the bench.

“There was a choice,” the person looks down, “an impossible one.”

I can’t remember what impossible means, though I feel like I should. Subconsciously, my eyebrows knit together. Knit 2 tog, I think inexplicably, unable to stay focus without the guiding hand of the piano, purl one, slip a stitch.

“You were a genius and a musician. They made you choose.”

My brain is rusty, like the whirligigs need oiling. I can’t make sense of what this person is saying. Were?

“You chose music,” they finish, like that should explain everything. But none of it makes sense.

“What?”



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