Sunday 20 December 2015

#132 Rise and shine

Mark was a quiet sort of chap. Quiet of voice. Loud, on the other hand, of sound. He had effectively been the ship's musician. Effectively, as the ship very obviously could not have funded such a role but he did have a harmonica on which he could play the odd tune or two. I think. I'd never heard him play a recognisable tune, just some strung together notes. Sometimes the music almost seemed to fit the mood of the crew at the time in which he played it.

It was seven o'clock and we were still on the island. Shivering slightly, I pulled the canvas over my head, wrapped the jacket more tightly around me and tried to warm up during those last moments of unknown length before we all roused ourselves for the day. The notes began creeping their way out of the harmonica. Every morning at seven, Mark would play to us a combination of notes he thought would best set us up for the day. As if notes could really do that. He wondered if they could. I think he believed that they could. 

Different combinations, he'd play. Mostly the same sort of mood but I noticed that if we'd had a good night's rest the notes sounded different. I couldn't work out how different because they always were different. Was he playing his instrument differently because he'd had more sleep too? Or did they just sound different because I'd had more sleep?

Mark had been trying for months now, or so it seemed, to find the right wake-up tune. There in that first morning on the island after the ship went down, I felt like I heard it. I could be wrong of course and might find that if it were played to me again another day, it wouldn't invigorate me but this morning, certainly, it had. I got up, took a pencil out from my jacket pocket and wrote down the main notes of the tune on the back of an old rail ticket I had in my wallet. 

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