Surrender your belongings to a locker, take nothing but the key and follow instructions.
You're seated like a Dubai sand resort, or a ufo farm diorama, or the latest burning man tent seashell. You sit gently. Crimping your hamstrings against a wooden beach chair, headphones in-hand. Your neighbors are unaware and lay neatly in place, staring up at a hangar ceiling that could fit a blimp. A gong sounds, and arms raise to silence the world around you. I smile and for some reason shed a single tear. Yup, cliche I know. Maybe I hadn't blinked in a while. I thought about the impossibility of shutting out everything and quieting the noise in ones life, but not being alone in your room, staring at the window, preparing for the next day, or a terrible night's sleep - which many did, sleep, but not out of boredom. They'd chosen to spend this time in their life in this space, with the silence, the music and nothing else.
The tick of your temple, the rhythm of your heart, every breath guides you through the next twenty minutes. You're a fetus. You're life is muffled. There's light at the end of the tunnel and doors with which you choose to enter this life. A stick is clicking in the background but my attention is focused on the ceiling, on my life, on the mistakes and where I'm at. I'm keenly aware that my experience will be solely mine and different because my life is not the same as anyone else's. Similar, maybe, but no ones thinking about suicide, or should I say, self-assisted suicide in my old age and How to Die in Oregon.
Igor Levit is creeping by me at a slow pace. He's wiping his face, he buries his head in his arm and takes a nap on the piano before his work begins. He's nodding his head as if to say "I can't believe I'm doing this again". His piano is slowly pulled into the center of our chaise stadium, our headphones still on, dead silent. 4 illuminated doors have been our roof compass. None of which dictate a direction, however a possible moment of birth when they suddenly power down at the sound of a second gong. The headphones come off, our heads breach, the lit doors slam, one stream of consciousness surrounds us and dims throughout our lives. The piano slowly rises to the noise of ones life that never ceases from inception. You're born, and so goes the rise and fall of ones trajectory and Igor chooses how to crescendo a lifetime - it's got angst, hyperactivity, love, confusion, awe, fantasy and death. It might not be your death. Just another chapter, on repeat. There's no doubt that many a movie scene will subconsciously draw us to the death of elders sitting in wheelchairs at some broken down senior facility. This piano plays like a drug you want to take over and over even though you will die together. You think of the saying "the soundtrack of ones life" and nothing rings more clear especially when you're cell phone isn't around. As time passes though, you settle deeper into your chair because your arms have fallen asleep at the angles you'd set them at shoulder length. Your legs are pinched and your back starts to yearn for a stretch. As you sit, you start asking yourself what time is it, let me check my watch. Is anyone going out after this, where's my phone. I crossed my leg and was worried something would fall out of my pockets into the bars of the Steinway and ruin mastery worse than the coughs from phlegm squandering hackers. As the light faded and what we knew was an unblemished attempt at painting ones life, it led me straight to my death and the thought of yearning for a song that could walk me out into the next state of silence. I'll now know it when I hear it, because it's mine.