The violin strings and their crabby master
“What kind of mood do you think he’s going to be in today?” The first string asked the others. He was the positive one among them. “He must be in a good mood today. He told her he liked her yesterday and they kissed! That has to lead to good things.”
“Oh, man. How can you be so damn positive all the time? Are you screwed in the head? He’s the moodiest human I have ever had the misfortune of encountering. There is no telling where the tide turns today. We should just brace ourselves for the worst.” This was the fourth string. He believed in always preparing for the worst, and it came up over and over again in his conversations.
“Now, now, let’s just all be calm. I saw some incense burning this morning through the windows. I think it was sage. So now that the aura in this place is all nice and clean, it’ll all work out perfectly fine. I just know that the universe is looking out for all of us poor strings.” As you can tell, she, the second string, was the spiritual one and the only woman in the group.
The third string was the last one to speak as always. Everyone else thought he was a bit slow, but it was just that he didn’t like to speak unless he knew what everyone else was thinking, so he could form an accurate judgement on the situation based on all the feedback. He was definitely an over-analyzer. “I think…”
And as always, he was too slow, and was interrupted by the first string who was both impatient and highly energetic. “Look, the doorknob! It’s turning. He’s awake! Quiet now.”
With bated breath, all four strings awaited their master’s return into the music room. Well, it was the living room, in the tiny apartment he lived in, but he had converted it in a music/living room. Mostly, he played around with music in this room, had his meals, and made surly confessions to women he liked, who didn’t like him back. “Too intense.” “Too needy”. “Too much.” These were the usual reasons why.
He slammed the bedroom door behind him, and came into the room looking highly pleased with himself. He was even in the mood to whistle today. He tried out a tune that was sitting in his mind, and it sounded good to him. He whistled a bit more, as he made himself a cup of black coffee, strong enough to strip paint off the walls.
The strings looked at each other with joy. And honestly, a lot of relief. This was their usual drama every morning, afternoon, and night. Their owner was a moody one. And his mood affected his playing, which in turn affected them.
You see, violin strings don’t just play music. They create music through their own emotions. If they are playing a sad piece of music, they are creating that sad music through their tears, and their collective pain. If they are playing something happy, it is through the joy and happiness in them that the music is created. It emanates and originates within them.
Thus, when their owner is a moody one, and plays sad songs constantly, they tend to become moody, sad, and miserable themselves. They didn’t like that, but there was nothing they could do about it.
“He’s in a good mood! I told you he would be.” The first string said triumphantly. As his predictions were accurate only 25% of the time, the rest of the time, their owner was miserable AF, it didn’t really matter that he had been right today. At least not to the others.
They all knew how fickle their owner’s mood could be. He could have a bad experience with his coffee, and be throwing things about the next second. They were always on the edge of their seat, waiting to see what kind of mood he would be right before he played them. They hoped today would be a happy kind of day.
Because yesterday was not. He had been tense all day because he was going to confess to yet another woman that he was in love with her beauty. It was the fifth one this month. He had been rejected by the other four. When he had decided to become a musician, he had done it for the women partly. But now that he’s actually living the starving-artist life, he realized that it was all a myth. Musicians don’t actually attract all the babes. Rich men with money do. Damn, all the rockstars, and famous musicians for leading him astray. He would have gone to college and gotten that finance degree if he had known this would be the case.
He mulled over this as he waited for the percolator to drip-drip-drip the delicious coffee nectar into the cup, that said, “The Best Violinists In The World Are Moody.” An ex had gotten that made for him when she still believed he was a good violinist. Their relationship faded fast as soon as she realized he was not. He was just a moody bastard. Not a talented moody bastard, as she had hoped.
He thought about the girl who had said yes to him yesterday, and he realized she was actually not as pretty as he had thought. Her teeth were odd, and her smile was crooked. And he had noticed her feet underneath the table accidentally and they were not manicured! The horror!
Oh shit, he thought to himself. I am going to have to break up with her today.
His mood went sour very quickly after that. He took a sip of the bitter coffee, spit it out into the kitchen sink, slammed the cup down into the sink with great anger, and then stomped into the music room to start his musical overtures.
The strings looked at each other with trepidation. How did his mood turn so rapidly? He liked drinking coffee. Why was he so miserable all of a sudden?
As soon as he started playing one of the saddest songs in history, “Violin Concerto in D major” by Tchaikovsky. The violin strings trembled, and sobbed. They wept and wept. They made the beautiful sad song come to fruition.
At the end of it, they were exhausted. The sadness of the song overwhelmed them. It had been a long day of sad songs, and misery. They were ready to take their daily rest.
The same thoughts were passing through their master. He was sick and tired of being sad, and it was time to eat some Chinese food to bring some fake MSG and joy into his body. He ordered some mooshoo pork, and some sweet and sour chicken. “Don’t forget the fortune cookies, you forget them last time,” he berated the cashier who took his order on the phone.
No matter what happened in the rest of his life, he was one of the most superstitious men on the planet.
While he took a shower to prepare for his meal, and the rest of his night, the strings took their own rest and recuperation.
They loosened themselves up. They let go. They rested.
“I’m sick and tired of his mood swings. I really had hoped that this new girl in his life would make him a nicer man, but this sucks. I hate playing that damn concerto over and over again, as if I am in a funeral.” This was the first string speaking. All the other strings were astonished. Even if everything went south with their master, they could have counted on the first string’s ability to stay positive.
It was the fourth string who spoke up first. “Don’t be like that, first string. It will be fine. I know it’s hard playing sad songs over and over again. It takes a lot out of us. But that’s what we are made for. To entertain and to make people feel. When we are playing one of those sad songs, I have seen audiences start crying inadvertently. They are able to feel, because we are able to play those feelings for them.”
All the strings were astonished yet again. It was like a role-reversal. The fourth string had definitely never spoken such positive words before.
The third string was about to say something, but as always he was too slow, and their master walked back into the room, as the door bell rang for the delivery.
Their master grabbed all of that delicious smelling food, and put it on the little breakfast table that he had. He sat on the ground, as he shovelled food at a rapid rate into his body. As he was in the middle of putting yet another spoonful of mooshoo pork into his mouth, the doorbell rang.
It was the girl. The girl who had said yes.
She sat down with him, about to share his meal, when he stopped her.
“Sarah, I need to speak to you…”
“Yes, I need to speak to you as well. May I start?… Thanks. I could hear you playing that sad concerto all day long. What happened did you have a bad day? I wanted to remind you that when you play songs that are sad over and over again, it not only affects your own mood, and perhaps, also your instruments, but everyone else in the vicinity of this apartment, and perhaps, the rest of the entire world. Everything is vibration, and you keep on putting this negative vibration into this world, even though you have the power as an artist to do so much good. I don’t think I can be with someone who is so negative. Sorry!”
She got up then, but not before grabbing one bite of the mooshoo pork, and then walked out of the apartment. Leaving him speechless.
“That was supposed to be my speech, damn you!” He yelled out loud.
The strings looked at each other ominously. This was not going to be good.
The master grabbed the bowls of food, and shovelled the rest of the food into his mouth, angrily. If he wasn’t going to have love in his life, at least he could have good food.
He then picked up a fortune cookie. This was one of the great pleasures of his life. To read his fortune, made up by a random person in a factory somewhere far away. He peeled off the plastic and the paper carefully, so as to not damage the cookie inside. He actually ate the cookies, unlike those dilettantes who just had a bite, or worse, didn’t eat them at all.
The fortune read as thus. “Your negative vibration affects all. Take a chill pill.”
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