The breeze blows in the lesson of the day: The insane man will dance with whomever says yes: an unsuspecting grandmother, somebody’s nice aunt.
But when the crowd, at last, realizes what you have known all along, the man, out of his mind, and out of partners now, twirls on his own, gently guides an invisible companion, as if he is the music, as if we understand the song moving him, as if we can hear the boisterous imperceptible sound.
The people you are sitting with are buoyed by the pianist who is filling the campus cafeteria with his joyous noise, and you wonder if your thirst for silence is due to the saturation of sound you have consistently experienced in more than just this moment.
Some days it is as if your students all have the same question but ask it one by one and over and over until your voice is scratchy, tired.
Some days it feels as if your your whole weight is braced on your vocal cords; you can hardly stand the thought of your own voice; it is as if others are singing with you as the instrument, as if they are tenants in your head.
Some days even a breath of frustration compounds the pandemonium.
The poet Neil Fischer, in his poem “As if the moon could haul through you,” writes:
You are sure your mind has grown dull from the incessant bedlam, the bright roar of the world around you.
When the pianist stops, will your senses sharpen? How much have you willingly surrendered your faculties for this little tune?
What are you giving up? Receiving?