Driving in Tune

January 12, 2011
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Jacob takes a deep breath,
fills his lungs with as much air as they will hold,
and blows out.
A big bold tone blares from his grand brass tuba.
Tuner in clear sight on his stand,
the needle spins back and forth like windshield wipers.
30 cents sharp
40 cents flat
Why couldn’t he get this note in tune?
Why couldn’t he hear this note in his head and stabilize it?

The conductor eyes Jacob with a look of disappointment.
The entire orchestra looks back and sighs.
Take 26.
A single tuba was to end the symphony with an “F”
This single tuba was Jacob.
Again he played the note out of tune,
again he ruined the entire last movement,
again he aggravated all the members of the orchestra.

Dress rehearsal ends-
twenty minutes until show time.
He runs out to get some lunch,
driving way faster than the speed limit.
He had to be back for warm-up in five short minutes
The light turned red
and he slammed on the accelerator.
The loud, vaguely familiar sound filled the intersection.

HONK! HONK!

Most American car horns beep the tone F.

The car honk sends gratification to Jacob.
Goose bumps tingle over his body
and an electrifying spark hits him.
That was the note.
The car.
The horn.
The “F. ”
He keeps the note fresh in his head,
zooms back to the concert hall,
and waits anxiously for his last note.

As the last measure is played,
the “F” reverberates in his head,
travels through his tuba,
and resonates throughout the entire hall.

A full perfectly in tune “Honk!”





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