Chapter Five Thinking why he said yes to Bradley, Colin waddled to the music department at 6:00pm, in his tight black pea coat, black jeans, gray polo and black converse. “He told me he would be in the second floor… but those are cubicles, not ensemble classrooms.” Thought Colin […]
Lately, I’ve been overthinking. More than usual. I’ve been pondering in my relationship. I’ve ben pondering in my relationship with peers, friends, and professors. I’ve transported myself back to the time where it felt just like this one. I call it the Great Depression of 2008. But (there is always one, isn’t there?) it’s not. The circumstances are not the same. Many things are similar, financial problems, for instance is one of them. Also, it reminds me when I started in studying music in 2002. In short, I rediscovered or should I say reaffirmed that everything is a cycle. The good things and the bad. But in everything that has happened to me. In all these almost 24 years, there has been one single common factor: Music. My One winged Angel.
When I started studying music in 2002, I was bullied. I never wanted to accept it (as many things about myself, my reality or my life), but I did struggle with it. My defense mechanism is to over-work. So I became more of a workaholic (if it can be possible). I also became (more than ever) distant with my reality and the people who were close to me, and acted as if everything were peaches & cream. My family (who I believe never noticed anything, I am a good actor when I need to be) finally let me take music classes. So, I poured myself into the only thing I could. Music. I also did my academics, but who cares! I had MUSIC from 4:30 to 6:30 from Monday to Saturday. I made my own little universe of pitch, tones, harmonies and I stayed there. I did it so much that it was the only thing I could think of from when I got woke up until I would fall asleep. I attended Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Plucked Strings Orchestra, Guitar. Cuatro, Theory Classes, in short everything and anything I could musically. I also founded a Music Club in my school so that I could think about music at school too. After doing all of this, did it work? Did it seclude me from my reality, and most important my problems? I can say yes. Did I learn from it? Yes. Did it help me? Absolutely. Was it maybe a bad way to manage my problems? Yes. Which is why I have tremendous empathy for people who have battled with depression. Everybody deals with depression, rejection, and anxiety in different ways and every case differently. My escape is (and always will be) Music. Sometimes it frustrates the hell out of me. Hell, sometimes it gives me a migraine! Sometimes I take it very, very, very personal when other musicians do a crap job (or don’t care). Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me but I can’t help it. Music has giving me so much, that I just want to do the best.
I struggled, but survived High School. I thought that everything would get better, and for a moment it I was under the aloofn
This time I wasn’t really that good at acting. Mainly my brother was the one who noticed. I lashed out on everybody in my family, but kept a happy face and my strong demeanor in my college life. I have basically no social life so (I believe) they didn’t noticed. I was the same (even more) nerd that I was on my freshman year and continued to do so. My bachelor is in Musical Education, so I majorly focused on my studies and vowed to “get out of this place and promised myself I wouldn’t do what I was living to myself or to my loved ones”ess that everything would. Untill 2008 rolled in. I was in college. I had a good freshmen year. I was getting to know my peers, making new relationships, new friends like Sheila, Glorimar, and Yolimar. And just like “The Last Airbender” scene: “Every thing changed when the fire benders attacked”. Everything that was dear to me changed, was grabbed like a lolly from a baby and I was down, again. And I was on the floor receiving kicks. Life intervened again, and just like that self-defense mechanism did too. I had to move from my house (to my sisters and then to the apartment where I currently reside). I had to basically sell (most) of everything I owned, because it was “no longer mine”. Everything changed, and so did I.
During my passage through the Music Institute I was always keen in Conducting (especially to Choral Conducting), and my musical mother Fombe, noticed. She basically took me under her wing for the past decade, and she made me a chorister, a singer but most important a teacher. When I was in college my passion for Music Investigation was Prof. Laracuente. My love for writing flourished tenfold thanks to Doctor Mercedes Torres. My love for Choral Conducting (and the one who gave me as much opportunities to cond
uct) is thanks to Prof. Ruben Colón Tarrats. But there was one professor who taught me the most about musicianship. That was Professor Freddie Feliciano (AND) Aponte (because I have a mother!).
Professor Freddie Feliciano (and) Aponte is the one who basically told and taught me to believe in myself. He was the one who told me that if I have a talent I must share it, the one who told me one day that I must love and let myself be loved. The one who basically flat out told me (very sassily) that I have all the passion, talent, but “most importantly the drive, and motivation” to do anything I want in my life is Prof. Freddie Feliciano. Freddie is an amazing person.
Freddie (because that’s one of the things I love about my music department, the professors encourage you to call them by their name) showed me who a musician is, how a musician should act, and how a musician reacts to to the world around him/her. Freddie taught me not to give a damn about what other people think about you. Freddie taught me and rekindled (just as did Kevin) my love for languages, especially the French language. It never occurred to me HOW much he taught me. And the only thing I can think about is the same question I have to all the professors mentioned above… “You’ve taught me so much. More than I have ever imagined. How can I repay you?” I read an article a week ago. In the article Dr. James Jordan from Westminister Choir College asks this to his mentor. Her reply was “Light a candle in every student you meet. That is more than enough.” I can say that I met Freddie in a crucial part of my life. And I can say that he’s another One Winged Angel I have in my life.
When I finished my bachelors’ degree I knew I learned a lot. From my personal life to my personal life. What I can say from both is that no matter what may happen to me, how I feel or what life can throw at me… I have Three One Winged Angels: Music, Freddie, and Kevin. In my life, these two people and music have done so much to me that they can’t even imagine how they have changed my life for the better. Kevin, Freddie, and Music literally and figuratively they have saved my life. I only wish Kevin, and Freddie have One Winged Angels as I do. As for Music? I believe she’s an angel who has saved many and still has more people to save.
-as they fall-
broaching them softly….
Two weeks pass as Colin looks at the picture of the cup that’s carefully placed in his night stand, as some priced possession sighing as he, failing tries to think of something else. Should I call him? Even though it’s been two weeks? I saw an episode by the Millionaire Matchmaker that the first 48 hours are the crucial and that I shouldn’t give it away…Wait… what the hell am I thinking. I didn’t go on a date with Bradley… ergh! Snap out of it Emerys. It’s been two weeks, he forgot about me. Just stop behaving like a twelve year old! As Colin tried to not think about Bradley and focus on his essay due tomorrow, because obviously he spent the time he ~should have dedicated to his paper he dedicates (as usual) in reading fan fiction of Doctor Who, watch America’s Next Top Model (‘cause Tyra Banks is fierce as hell and would beat Naomi Campbell in a model off), Project Runway, Misfits (‘cause Simon and Alisha could have it all!) and The Devil wears Prada (‘cause Meryl Streep is flaw-free and Anne Hathaway looked beautiful in those Dolce and Gabbana dresses ). Staring at the paper for the fifth time and hating his “European” professor he looked at his laptop and his thesis statement. This is so stupid. Why do I have to do this essay in the first place and why did tell him I would do an analysis of Les Sœurs Rondoli instead of Une Vie? Just as he wanted to throw his laptop to the ground and flip his desk in frustration. Just as he wanted to scream, his blackberry started to ring.
Maintenant je maudis le jour où j’t’ai rencontré,
J’aurais pas dû te regarder
Si t’es plus là tous ces souvenirs
Qu’est c’que j’en fais, je veux juste t’oublier
Tout ce qu’il me reste
C’est juste une photo de toi,
Juste une photo de toi,
Juste une photo de toi
Colin looked at his cellphone incredulously, he didn’t know the number but he had a feeling that he had to pick it up. Picking his phone tentatively he answered. Allô? “Um hi. Is this Colin’s phone? It’s Bradley” Said Bradley confused and dreading he called Colin. Damn it maybe Rachel gave me the wrong number just to mess with me! Thought Bradley. “Um. Hi, sorry… yeah it’s me I was just doing a French paper and once I start I continue to think in French and it takes a while to change back… um… Wassap?” Trying to sound as calm and collected while he tripped over his bag as he was standing up, thinking that would give him more confidence.
“Ok, ok. Sorry I’m calling, I asked Rachel to give me your number I kinda wanted to talk to you. My English lit professor just gave me the list for my final test and I’m sort of freaking out, ‘cause I don’t understand the material. I was wondering if you had some free time and help me out. If you can I can pay you.” Said the musician. Trying to recollect himself and trying not to hyperventilate, Colin replied “Um sure, but finals aren’t like in a month. Have you at least read your selections?” “Yeah I’m in the middle of three and I finished two and I’m kind of struggling with these… I asked Rachel, but she was busy and she told me to ask you…” Bradley’s voice trailed. “Oh my God, that Rachel. I’m going to kill her next time I see that bitch! Thought Colin as he casually responded, “Well, sure I could help you out. I can’t right now ‘cause I’m in the middle of writing a paper I have for tomorrow. I’m free tomorrow, if it’s urgent.” “Yes, that would be amazing. I have rehearsals up until like 6-ish, so maybe if you like we can meet wherever you like.” Said Bradley a bit too exited for his sake, doing a little jump and his guitar fell making startling Bradley. “What was that?” asked Colin. “Just my guitar, I didn’t secure it well apparently” Lied Bradley “So where should we meet?” Asked Bradley. “Well first of all I need to know the list, to know even if I can actually help you. Tomorrow at 6:30 at Perk’s?” Asked Colin. “Sure.” Said Bradley. “Let’s chat over coffee, my treat.”
After ending his conversation with Colin, Bradley feels good. He doesn’t know why but he does. He looks around in the tiny cubicle he’s in, guitar on hand and sheet music on the stand, he thinks of his playlist for the night. Maybe if I use half and half… half classical half popular. People go to a coffee shop to drink coffee and talk. They’re not there to hear people sing. Bradley started to fidget in his chair and started to sweat. And I’m still not comfortable in singing alone in public. Yeah… That seems like a good idea. I wonder is that Colin kid will ~actually~ show up. He’s kind- Wait… what was it that I was going to say… think… whatever… He seems nice. Just. Nice. Bradley picks up his guitar and starts to sing, trying to get Colin out of his mind. Focus Pendragon! Bradley sigh and tries to focus on the lyrics. I wish I could get more money out of this gig…
Colin anxious by the minute picks up his phone and starts to text Rachel.
Colin: Hey. What should I wear? I mean… jeans and a shirt or would that be awkward? Is it too much?
Entering to her room, Rachel listens to her phone and picks it up. She sighs as she sees too text messages from Colin, one with a text and the other a picture of Colin in “outfit”.
Rachel: /sigh I knew I was going to have this conversation with you. Cols, its just to PICK UP A BOOK. Ok? Do you even know he ~goes~ that way? And besides you’re not going on a date. And if you are I will kill you because I will NOT be the third wheel. Are you? Omg this is a date isn’t it Emerys I will KILL YOU!
Colin: Please. I know. You’re right. I’m over reacting… and NO!!!OMG NO it’s not a date. I will just pick up the pick up the book and that’s it….
Rachel: Please don’t tell me you’re getting your hopes up? /sigh I know you Cols. Is something up?
Colin: Who said about getting my hopes up? He’s just a random guy. And yeah, I’ll ditch what I have on. I’ll be out at… five-ish so I can meet up in the music building.
Colin: PS: I will change… and to be honest I looked hot. >_>
Rachel: Ok then. See you soon luv.
Colin sighed as he looked at himself in the mirror. I look nice… I’m not ~hot~ but I look ~okay~. Rach’s right. I’m over dressed. I’m such an idiot. I don’t even know if he’s… Looking at himself in the mirror in his room, Lance walks in looking at him with a weird look in his face. “Are you going on a date?” Said Lance with a smug smirk on his face and a beer in his hand. “I wish, sadly no. I just overdressed. I’m going with Rach to the coffee shop” Said Colin with a hint of sadness. “Oh… I see and you don’t invite me or Angel, huh?” Said Colin’s roommate, amused. “It came up last minute and besides now you can invite Angel over here. Haven’t you been trying to kick me out? Now you have until 8 approximately. Use your time wisely.” Smiled Colin knowing he touched a sensitive subject with his roommate. “How did you know about Angel and I?” Lance looked pale as snow, and fumbled to get his beer that almost fell to the ground. Colin smirked as he changed his black ¾ shirt to a black T-shirt, still in his tight black jeans and high top black converse. “The walls have eyes and ears Lance. The walls have eyes and ears.” “What do you mean?” Said Lance “It means that before you bring somebody for a shag. In this case your girlfriend, since I know you’ve been with her more or less after… September? Be a little less… vocal.” Laughed Colin. “You bastard! Did she tell you?!” “No, she didn’t tell me. Lance, she’s not that hard to read. And yes I knew it ever since you two started to date. Angel is my childhood friend after all. Now you better treat her well, if not I will chop your balls, with a chainsaw.” Just as Colin finished that sentence, somebody knocked on the door. “Shit” Lance cursed as he, looked at Colin and went and opened the door. “So… are we gonna- COLIN! Hey” Angel awkwardly smiled at Colin, as she knew the gist was up. “Hey Ang. Wassap? Don’t worry. I’ll be off in a few minutes and your secret will be safe with me. And no I won’t tell Katie. I swear.” Colin winked to Angel as she looked at him shocked. “You really are a Sherlock, aren’t you” asked Angel. “Yep”. “Oh… and Angel? Think wisely… I mean Lance? Come on you could do sooo much better” smirked Colin as Angel started to laugh and Lance glared at him “Just go to your ~date~ already!” yelled his roommate. “Look at you, going on a date. Who’s the lucky guy?” asked the girl dressed in a yellow dress, showing off her breasts. “Like I told to your ~boyfriend~, it’s not a date. Just going to hang out in the coffee shop with Rachel. And I’m off… and by the time I get here, this place should be spotless. I don’t want to know what you did.” Said Colin walking to the door. “I owe you one Colin!” Said Angel as Colin left his dorm.
Colin picked up his phone, dialed Rach’s phone and pressed call just as he heard the first beep, he heard Rachel’s ringtone in a distance. Rachel screamed Colin’s name and he walked up to her. They walked together in silence as they reached the Central Perk’s coffee shop. They opened the door and they took their regular seats just as Bradley started to introduce himself. “Hello, I’m Bradley Pendragon. It’s great to be playing at Perk’s for open mike. The manager told me he wanted to give the music department a break and he wanted students from the uni to play here on Sing it out! Thursday. I’m going to change it up a bit. Let’s start with the depressing thing ‘cause I know we’re still have the stench of failure’s from last weeks midterms so let’s all hang it out and try to cram everything for finals! With that Bradley started to sing Talking to the moon.
Rachel looked at Colin with a smirk as he looked at Bradley. Colin fancies Bradley. I mean who wouldn’t? Bradley’s a musician; he’s talented, nice white smile, beautiful blue eyes and nice hair. He’s smart too, after all he’s in the top 5 of three of our classes together… obviously I’m better than him ‘cause I’m in the number one spot, thank you very much. I don’t know, maybe Bradley, if he went that way and if he liked Colin back, he could help Colin. Colin’s too shy. I mean… shyer than his normal shy self. Something’s up, I know that and he wont tell me… maybe if I pair him up with- Oi! What are you staring at? Said Colin as he looked at Rachel as a confused puppy. Sorry… just thinking too much about my midterms lied Rachel. Come on; buy me some coffee, after all if I’m going to be here ‘till seven watching you look at Bradley as a lost puppy who wants to get adopted then the ~least~ I can get out of you is some free coffee. Said Rachel. “Ok, I’ll buy you the coffee, only if you finally take me out for some shots at the bar.” Countered Colin. “Touché Emerys. Fine… Let’s see how many shots you can handle.” “So what’s the deal with Bradley, how did you meet him all of the sudden?” Asked Rachel, curious to know where exactly Colin knew Bradley from. “Oh, um…” Colin’s eyes traveled to his coffee as he tried to stop his big ears from turning beet red. “I know him from here, actually. He comes here at more or less the same time I’m here doing my reading for my classes, but it was when I saw him playing in a cubicle and a book of mine got lost, he found it and he called me today to give me the book back.” Colin said turning red and failing in saying all of this casually. “He’s actually good. When I saw him play in the cubicle, he was rehearsing a song, that it’s actually one of my favorites. Well… obviously he’s not better than John Williams, but still he played the song really well” Said Colin, looking at Bradley sing and turning even more red, when he actually listened to what Bradley was singing.
~I’ma get your heart racing in my skin-tight jeans
Be your teenage dream tonight
Let you put your hands on me in my skin-tight jeans
Be your teenage dream tonight~
People clapped and a group of girls cheered Bradley as he finished his song, Colin couldn’t help but notice that Bradley was looking at him as he sang that last verse and Bradley was smiling ~as~ he sang that verse. Colin looked at Rachel, as she was looking at what just happened. “Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who saw that.” Said Colin, his voice shaking. “No, you weren’t the only one and besides obviously he sang that to ~me~.” Said Rachel tauntly.
In a daze, Colin saw the manager walk towards Bradley and whispered in his ear while Bradley smiled and nodded. As the manager walked away, Bradley grabbed the microphone and said: “Well you guys our friend Gunther told me to stop the show for a few minutes ‘cause apparently you guys aren’t buying coffee! Bradley laughed as the costumers giggled. No I’m serious, Gunther my dear friend who is the manager and who very kindly asked me to sing today, told me to have a 15-minute break. So I’ll see be right back, and buy some of Gunth’s amazing coffee. Smiled Bradley as he placed his guitar on it’s case and looked around on his bag, took out a book and after saying hi and smiling to the table full of freshmen, he walked towards Rachel and Colin as the giggles from the girls Bradley just said hi to burst as bubbles from a bottle of sparkling wine freshly poured into a flute glass on New Years Eve.
“He’s coming. Don’t screw it or spaz.” Said the girl through gritted teeth to Colin and sipped some coffee. “Wait… What?” Said Colin surprised as he looked at Bradley suddenly in front of him. “Hey Bradley. Nice guitar playing. I don’t know if you recognize me. Rachel Smith we take three classes together.” Said the girl as she extended her hand to greet Bradley. “Yeah! Sure.” Said Bradley smiling and shaking her hand. “We take Chem, Shakespeare and what was the other one? Health was it?” “No, we took that last semester together. Sociology, with Dr. Hermioz.” Replied Rachel with outstanding kindness. “Oh right, Soc 101 with le Herz. I honestly fall asleep in that class so… that’s why I don’t actually remember it. Honestly that class is such a waste of time, if people actually read the book they would get an A. Especially with Dr. Herz” Said Bradley showing his perfect white teeth that left Colin mesmerized. “Bradley you don’t know how much I agree with you. I take that class to do my homework or basically read my emails. Oh that’s rude of me! Do you know Colin? Colin Emerys meet Bradley Pendragon. Said Rachel cynically, which made Colin stop staring at Bradley. “Um… yeah sure. I was the one who invited you remember Rach?” Said Colin ashamed and blushing just a touch that made his cheeks get slightly pink just like when the clouds in sunrise. “Yeah. I met Colin in the music department. Hey Colin. Here!” Said the musician a bit over enthusiast as he gave Colin his book back. “Sorry I didn’t call you earlier I got a little sidetracked ‘cause of the midterms and some juries I had.” “Be back in a tick, I have to get another cup of coffee. Here Bradley, take my seat.” Said Rachel as she left the table and mouthed Relax! He’s cute! To Colin who gave her a I can’t believe you’re doing this to me look.
Colin laughed nervously as he took some of his coffee and he tried not to drink what’s left, just dreading that he had to speak to Bradley alone. “So what instrument do you play?” Asked Bradley. “Um. I actually play a bit of piano. I used to play back when I was in high school. I studied in the conservatory with Prof. Gaius, I don’t know if you know about him.” “Wait… you studied under THE Gaius… The one who won the International Chopin Piano Competition three years in a row?” Almost screamed Bradley looking at Colin in shock. “Yeah, I did. I started to play piano when I was 6 years old. Gaius was actually my second and last teacher” smiled cautiously Colin. “Woah! And please tell me your studying music. You must be an amazing pianist! I mean with Gaius as your mentor and all” Said Bradley still in disbelief as he looked at Colin as if Colin had all the Christmas presents in the world. “No actually, I’m a Literature Major.” Replied Colin amused. “Wow man, you have to call me so I can see you play piano. I mean… you must be amazing!” “Do you like what you’re studying? I mean I like languages and literature but that’s ‘cause well music is deeply intertwined with both of them.” Said Bradley
“Yeah, it’s really my thing. Do you compose or play something other than guitar, which by the way you’re really good at.” Said Colin smiling at Bradley “Oh yeah. I play a bit of piano, but I suck at it to be honest. I also play just a touch of violin, I sing as you could see and I just started in conducting.” Said Bradley self-consciously. “Wow you really are a multi-talented guy, aren’t you?” Replied Colin amazed. “Some people just say to me that I’m a workaholic, I just say that I love music so much I want to do all I can. It’s basically my life you know.” Said Bradley proudly. “Know that feeling.” Said Colin drinking a bit of his scarcely sweetened black coffee. “You know. I got a feeling about you Colin. Colin, that ~is ~ your name right. I’m bad with names so-” Said Bradley as he saw Gunther saying that he had to be up again. “Sorry they’re telling me to go up again. Um… anyways here’s my number if you lost it. And I would really love to talk to you soon. I can use some tutoring with my Shakespeare class. I know you might be good, ‘cause you’re always reading here when around by the time I come here… and I would like to talk music with cha.” Said Bradley as he wrote his number in Colin’s cup as Colin looked at him puzzlingly. Bradley finished writing on Colin’s cup, looked up smiled at him and went back to where his guitar was, picked it up and smiled to the microphone and said:
“Sorry about that. Was talking to my new friend over there. I think he’ll like this next piece I’m going to play. I’m going to change it up once again, you see in this part just to get you more relaxed and give this awesome shop a cool vibe; I’m going to play some classical pieces. This first up was made popular by Andrés Segovia and is one of the most recognizable classical guitar pieces. It’s part of a suite, which was published in 1892. Ladies and Gentlemen, Asturias.” Bradley stretched about a bit, and started to play. Colin watching him, smiled as he finished his coffee and closed his eyes to take truly listen to the song, trying to ignore the people murmuring in the background. Half way toward the piece, Rachel sat back on the table and watched Colin look at his coffee cup and simply said: “When are you going to call him?” Colin just smiled and replied: “Don’t know.”
“No hay nada más poderoso, aterrador, hermoso y fascinante, estar en un teatro (del tamaño que sea), suban el telón y de repente, todo el mundo vea cada uno de tus movimientos, mientras ese silencio aterrador nos consume y nuestro estómago vacío quiera virarse de donde está, y con solo un movimiento de manos, una respiración, un gesto, viole ese silencio y por varios minutos, el mundo gire alrededor de nosotros, controlemos los sentimientos, el espacio,el tomar control de cada fibra de los demás (para bien o para mal) luego de trabajar tanto, solo por un momento. No importa si lo graban, si lo publican… Ese momento intimo entre tu y yo, eso es lo que cuenta… Porque esa es mi vida, no importa cuanto escriba, cuanto suspire, cuanto yo gima y suplique en una obra o canción de amores pasados o presentes, de lo que paso, lo que fue y lo que será… ese momento es de nosotros. Porque mi vida es la música, porque vivo por cantar, vivo por tocar porque vivo… para tí”
|—||– José A. Clavell ®|