I was having some pleasant dreams, some gentle thoughts. I was watching an incredibly lovely young girl doing a springy dance on grassy hills as the sunlight seemed to chase, trying to catch her. I don’t remember dreaming music, but now I was, a lilting picolo sound, and yes, violins. I opened my eyes and searched for my clock, and it was time to rise up. That picolo still sounded, seeming to fade into silence.
I shook my head. I thought, “I must still be half asleep!” I opened my eyes as wide as they would go, and yawned, stretching my fists to the ceiling. “Whoa, I need a good strong cup o’ coffee, now..” I thought. A picture of my cup filled my mind, and then I heard a marching tune, and multiple snare drums. It wasn’t my imagination, I could hear it!
“Charlie, isn’t that a little early? We’ve got neighbors...” Silence. I tried to hear beyond the sound of ‘The Thunderer’. The marching sound was fading then, and a solo clarinet sounded, a mysterious mournful sound of anticipation. Something strange was going on in this house. I donned my robe, stepped into my slippers. I opened my bedroom door, expecting this clarinet to blair. I looked down the darkened hall, and the living room, kitchen area was still dark. The sound of the clarinet had not changed in volume. It was the same out here as in my bedroom. The melancholy sound had changed to a sound anticipating possible danger. Walking by the kitchen, I turned on its lights. The clarinet paused on a long B flat. I went to the light switch in the front room. Everything appeared as normal. But the clarinet sound told me something was amiss.
I walked down to hall to Charlie’s room and tapped on the door. No sound, except that the clarinet sound was wavering in its lowest tones. The sound was making me anxious. Against our rules, I opened the door as quietly as I could. I saw the hill on the bed that was Charlie under covers. I whispered, “Charlieeee, can..you... wake... up?” I watched and thought I saw the hill shrug. “Are you awake? Charlieee, can you pleaaase wake up?” I saw the hill kind of flatten. He was looking at his clock. I heard a muffled sound...”ohh, man, not yet. Give me a few minutes, okay, Greg old pal?”
So, I pulled the door closed, heard the click, and went to make my coffee. That thought made the clarinet sound go happy, dum, dum d-dum de dum. I got the coffee down from the shelf and filled the container. I put in the water and hit the button. I am either losing it, or music is coming from somewhere. I went into the room we call our office. The computers were both off. Blank screens. I tried to hear if that pleasant little ditty was coming from somewhere in here. It was no louder. It was the same volume in the kitchen, and in the front room. “Wait!” I thought. Maybe it’s coming through the heater vents! So I got down on my knees close to the front room’s vent. The clarinet went into its highest notes, a flute sound seemed to join in making a joyful, laughing sound. For some reason it made me smile, it was so pleasant, but then I felt concern... the clarinet, flute duet stopped, and there was the soft pounding on a timpani. That sound seemed to match my heart beat.
I decided to step outside, on our front porch, and headed for the front door. Maybe the sound will stop outside...a solo oboe sounded over the timpani beat. It was a creepy sound that made a soft crescendo with every step I made through the carpet to the front door. There was a long note of anticipation as I watched my hand reach for the knob and pull the door open. The trees on our street shivered dark, the sky was a fine blue, happy with its toy clouds slowly meandering. I love morning air, and without thinking sucked in a chest full. It was quiet! I stepped out to the open porch, tried to find a beam of sun to steal. I found one, and stretched my neck to reach it, oh the feel of relieving sunlight! Then came the cymbal sound, and trumpets, finely tuned, melodiously sounded. For a short moment, I was highly elated, my mood controlled by the sound.
“Stop!” I told myself. My mouth drooped open, my eyes stared. I was being defeated by this strange phenomenon. The glorious trumpet sound echoed into silence, and a funeral dirge took its place, doing nothing but adding to my feelings of failure and depression. My chin sunk, resting on my breast bone.
“Hey, Greg. What ya doin’ outside?” Charlie was at the front door, hold a cup of coffee. It was probably from my pot. That was his annoying habit. That chittering, laughing sound could be heard. “Can you hear that?” I asked. I’m sure I looked concerned “Can’t hear a thing,” he said, putting the cup up to his mouth, but I could tell he was smiling. I said, “Come on, Greg. Are you doing this? I’ve been hearing music all morning and it’s driving me nuts. You sure you can’t hear music?” That joyful picolo sounded. “there, did you hear that picolo?”
Charlie said, “Come back in. I poured you a cup of coffee.” The thought of coffee was not to be ignored, so I followed him into the kitchen, got my cup and sat at the table. “Charlie, I’m serious, I...” Charlie held up his hand to make me stop talking. “Look, I know. It Works!” I stared at him. “Look, you may get all pissed off at me, but it’s like a hearing aid. I think I’ll call it a “Mood aid”... When you were asleep last night, I put it in your ear. Your right ear. It’s really little, so let me take it out. Hold still, kind of tip your head to the left.” He rolled his finger in my ear which I didn’t like. “Here. Here’s your music. Look, we might make a fortune with this invention. It has tiny little magnets that can detect your feelings, and plays music to match. I’ve been working on this thing in my lab for over a year. I think it’s going to change the world.”
For a long while, I could only stare, frowning at my scientific friend. His eyebrows were up, with an anxious look, hoping that I would show some sign of approval. “Okay. That’s just fine. This thing makes my life feel like a movie...Can you put it back in now?”