Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Anything You Have Held

Ronnie was a gymnast. That’s how they met and that’s also the story of how music became a part of Dennis. 
He says that anything that you have held holds you.
They were in ninth grade when they met and had no social options at the time for expressing the depth of their love. It was a love affair nonetheless. Ronnie taught Dennis to sing and play drums and Dennis taught Ronnie to fight. He was like a perfectly chiseled Greek statue and would do a hand stand on a signal light on 42nd street in Manhattan if you asked him to. He was beautiful and that beauty drew attention, jealousy, and resentment. Boys who perhaps felt that same attraction to Ronnie that Dennis felt but wanted to stop it sought peace by punishing the beauty of that face with their fists. So Dennis taught Ronnie to fight.

Ronnie took Dennis to a club to listen to music. They were the only white kids in a black jazz club. Dennis worried a little but Ronnie said:
“Listen to the music.”
And he did. After a while Ronnie was invited up onto the stage to play. Sublime moment for the kid too young to get into the club to be on the stage.

In college Ronnie fell in love with a beautiful woman. Her face was severely deformed, she had three fingers on each hand, but like Ronnie she was a musician. This is a sad story. They tried to have children and after several miscarriages they at last had a son, Sean.

On Christmas Eve Dennis was on his way to a party being held in honor of his recent nomination for a Pulitzer. The phone rang. It was Ronnie’s wife. Ronnie had just been hit by a bus crossing the street.
For several days they all sat around the hospital bed reading to Ronnie from the yearbook, but Ronnie was gone. His beautiful wife gave his drum kit to Dennis. Dennis  brought it with him to the west coast where he continued to make music.

13 years later the telephone rang again. It was Sean. He wanted to know if he could have his Dad’s drum kit back. Dennis cried.
“I know that you were my Dad’s best friend. I know that you loved him.” Sean told him.

Anything that you have held holds you.
Ronnie was a Gymnast. He would do a hand stand anywhere anytime. If you were walking down 42nd street and asked him to, he would do a handstand right on the traffic light.

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