Pam Avoledo ~ The Missing Violins

The vio­lins were miss­ing some­where with­in the mir­ror. The strings curl around the elas­tic of  my partner’s shoes as he lifts me up. It braids through the soft pink rib­bons and snaps as it approach­es my ankle. Still I count one, two, three, four, one two, three, four, my arabesque a half-sec­ond behind. The whis­pers of Aaron’s hands on the keys hum as I walk by the piano, our eyes set on the glass.

Aaron asks me about our plans for the week­nd as we ride the fer­ry, the let­ters in his words jum­ble and widen in a clue­less crossword.I tell him I need the wires. He sits in an office,reading months-old arti­cles, ask­ing “who wore it best?” while I wear over­sized black head­phones in a booth, wait­ing to say beep.

Leg on the barre, the wires charge as I stretch. A shoe squeaks on the wood­en floor as the instruc­tor chats with Aaron. Simone, her hand a door over mouth, turns her head to Devin. Through the cracks of her fin­gers, she mum­bles she could­n’t get some ran­dom guy out of her bed and almost didn’t make it on the train. The instruc­tor claps her hands, a shrill echo splin­ter­ing the con­ver­sa­tions with an abrupt cut and I stand on the left side of the barre.

The vio­lin strings clamp to the wires and tight­en. The dots and ties hov­er over the down­ward stems while I pirou­ette. A sil­hou­ette of myself dan­gles on the edge of the staff and I leap into it, unpre­pared for my height and I am vis­i­ble in the mir­ror again.

Aaron says we have to go to Victoria Peak  as he sep­a­rates the take­out con­tain­ers. The wires won’t be able to hold until the com­pa­ny tours in spring, I say to him. They’ll start to thin as I board the plane and slow­ly tear through con­ver­sa­tions, traf­fic and split the def­i­n­i­tion of who I am to the direc­tor, chore­o­g­ra­ph­er, and soloists, every­one. He press­es his lips on my tem­ple and says I am the sky, obser­vant of the frag­ile clouds and unhin­dered by what may pass.


Pam Avoledo’s fic­tion has been pub­lished in Scrawl Place, Roi Faineant Press, Ellipsis Zine and others.