Shhh! We’re just in Tomislav Square, opposite the train station.

What are we doing here?

We’re watching an orchestra and some opera singers, and having a picnic. It’s very nice.

There are insects dancing up in the roof amongst the stage lights. They look like snow. Sunny nighttime snow.

The singers are getting raucous. The violinists’ arms are vibrating with energy. The tempo is picking up.

But let’s be honest. All eyes are on the lonely harpist off to the side, sitting back in her chair, waiting for her big moment.

And behind her, the percussionist, his timpani building up the crescendo, enjoying every moment as it intensifies.

And behind him, the solo cymbal player, always ready, rarely called upon. When he strikes, he strikes hard. He stands at the ready, sweat beading on his brow, nervous for the exact right moment. And when it comes – BAM – he brings his hands together in an almighty crash, the sweat leaps from where it had been pooling under the hairline, and with an exhaltant crash, crash, smile, maybe another crash, he is done and takes his seat again.

I would like to be a cymballist.

The harpist, meanwhile, relaxes uncoiled, like a basking snake, waiting, waiting for her moment.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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