Picture credit: Stephen Wells
We were sitting in a crowded hall, waiting for the lights to dim – before the halls were emptied – strangers sharing breath, breathing as one when the music began. How strange to be silent together, listening as sound filled the air; shallow breathing of a man next to me, deep in concentration, his arm against mine, the intimacy of listening in the dark as time collapsed, his breath in time with the music. I miss the brush of his arm – it annoyed me then – I miss his breathing, held on a note, waiting for the orchestra to rise; liquid longing of the strings, the drums gathering force, the horns’ flash and fade. The bare arms of the violins working as one, girls in black, lifting the tune from the score. Music could be conjured by a baton’s wave and we were its conductors, our bodies pliant in plush seats, absorbing vibrations; all we had to do was allow it to enter.