A small tint of orange met his black boots as the doctor's office drew dark. The only light coming from the bottom of the closet door that flickered up his legs.....leaving his face barely lit from the reflection of the orange lake below his feet. He felt better in the dark.....he always has. Years of excuses, has finally run out, as the closet door started to shake. The banging sound of bone to wood made his hands bury his face for comfort, as the reality started to enter through the closet cracks. The skeletons wanted their freedom, the skeletons needed him to become free. Mad at himself......mad at the world. His father passing makes his gut turn. Pain that makes him want to throw up, and at times......escape. An older daughter that leaves him breathless at night, turns his pillow into a clenched blanket of might. Someone to talk to he should, but his skin is stubborn, while his skeletons suffer. He will never be free, unless he enters the Orchestra.
His beat up body and unhealthy lifestyle made it hard to get off the bed. The white doctor's sheet crinkled as his left hand pushed against his left knee to get up. He stood outside of the door now quiet. His breathing became fast, as his heart raced like his life. He reached out his hand and turned the knob. The door opened with ease, almost as if someone pushed from the inside. His whole body was covered in a glow of orange. The warmth of the light made his breathing calm, and his eyes open wider. His skin looked brighter as his body became lighter. Already a sense of relief...for just entering his past was a tough step. A skeleton dressed in red with gold cuff links asked for his ticket. The skeleton's red locomotive looking hat hung off to the side, shading one side of his face. His eyes were hollow for my father's eyes were his. Sight connected with sight, heart beat to heart beat, emotion to emotion they were more connected than the skeleton's bones to joints. One in the same......my father never understood this.....for my father is his worst skeleton. The ticket ripped as the bony usher drew his arm out to the side with a small smile and a tilt of the skull, guiding and welcoming my father to the 5 story hall filled with endless rows of seats looking down upon the empty black stage. His hand laid out flat in the air, feeling each seat as he walked in wonder. One of those walks where your eyes and thoughts are so far gone, that how he knew where to walk was amazing. His slow but long stride moved my father up the first batch of stairs to the second story balcony. He turned down each isle keeping his eyes located on the old wood stage in front of him. His feet sticky to the floor each time he took a step. The sound was as if someone was ripping tape. The ground was filled with salt....salt from every tear he ever drew. Salt from every person he hurt and who hurt him. Salt from abandonment, loss, happiness and the biggest one of all.....regret.
While still keeping his head forward and eyes glued to the stage, he blindly felt the arm rest with his left hand, and then sat down in the very back row on the second story. So far back.....he was almost hidden. Hidden from from what he had been hiding from his whole life. A big deep breath made his black v-neck shirt move up then down. His hands knocked against the arm rest as if he was singing a song. His head now rotated side to side, then up and down in a nervous scurry all around the huge auditorium. Excited for how far he has gone, but in fear for what lies ahead. At least one hundred skeletons from every angle of the stage slowly walked out to the stage each holding a different instrument. The skeletons were dressed in all black.....black like my dad's suits in the 90's. Black like the nights filled with smoke and snow. Black like the sports cars he used to drive when he was once rich. Black like the up all night nightmares. Black like the circles around his eyes, black like ashes from his burnt relationships. The skeletons took their place with such ease. No applause.....for there was no one else to watch my father. There was no one in the audience to watch my father play from the second row balcony. His fingers become stiff.....while his head tilted to the side. His v-neck turned into a tux, while his black circles slowly vanished from his face. And then it happened.......he started to play! The Orchestra of skeletons played loudly with him! The ground filled with salt as my father cried while the violin strings sung. His body now moving with rhythm. Side to side, his body moved while his eyes swayed violently with every stroke of his arm. Blood ran down his nose from playing so hard. The sounds of the violin was crying with pain and emotion. The strings were screaming as his eyes now laid closed and his eyebrows danced above his eyes. The skeletons on the stage were trying to keep up with him, but falling short from the speed and violence my father was playing with. The skeletons were smiling at each other as salt water began to creep up their white bony legs. At this pace they would all soon drown from my father's tears. The water was now up the the skeleton's necks. They raised their instruments high above the water to continue the song of my father's life. They played with passion. They played with joy and pride. As my father did the same.
The song stopped.......the Orchestra went dead quiet. My father's breathing was fast. His eyes slowly opened to an empty stage. The sweat was falling fast down his forehead stinging his eyes. He stood with weakness from the journey he just experienced. You could hear a pin drop from the silence that was surrounding him. Silence that usually haunted him....now gave him a sense of peace. He felt different, he felt light, he felt......well.....good. He made his way to the closet door that led him to this world he hasn't yet figured out, but at the same time completely understands. He opened the closet door to find all of his skeletons waiting for him on the other side. Hundreds packed into the doctor's office, all smiling from gaining their freedom, and seeing my dad gain his as well.
Let your skeletons from your past guide you to the future of tomorrow.
I love you, Dad. I am so glad we have rebuilt our relationship even bigger and better than before. Today is day one of the rest of our lives. I am glad my skeletons have met yours.
Welcome Father.........to The Dark Orchestra. 2016 & beyond