<< -- 2 -- Elizabeth Dobbs MUSIC
A few minutes past noon, Theresa entered the shop, setting the door chimes jingling,
paused to stroke Mandolin and kiss Anton, then disappeared into the stock room with the
lunch she'd brought. Anton left the counter and followed her. Today Theresa had brought pasta
salad with olives, artichoke hearts, and smoked chicken. She'd made it herself last night.
Cooking was Theresa's passion, like music was Anton's. Theresa had purchased the smoked
chicken from an excellent deli near their house. While she'd prepared the salad, Anton
had sat in the comfortably upholstered rocking chair in the large kitchen, perusing the
newspaper and also watching Theresa. There is comfort in watching someone cook food, and
Anton had partaken of this comfort just as he now partook of the salad.
'How's work?' Anton asked.
'I started the preliminaries for this summer's visiting lecturer's program,' Theresa said.
She ate a forkful of the salad and drank from a bottle of fruit juice. 'I want to get
David Deutsch from Oxford to talk about the work he's doing on the quantum computer.'
Anton's eyes caressed her hair, which fell, like fringed silk shot through with silver,
just to the bottoms of her shoulder blades. She held it away from her face with an ornate
silver clip set with a purple stone. He often marveled that his wife only became more
beautiful as the years passed. What had he ever done to deserve such a woman?
'How's Mandolin?' she asked him.
Anton shrugged, making light of it. 'We'll find out today, I hope.'
'Lev called,' Theresa said, then smiled broadly.
'When is he flying in?'
'Not until late Thursday night. He's staying at MTT's house that night, then he'll be
in intensive rehearsals with the symphony.'
'Michael Tilson Thomas, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Lev says MTT
is the brand under which Thomas' publicist is packaging him.'
Lev, now thirty years old, was a world renowned concert violinist. Anton couldn't fathom
the accident of nature or act of God that had put so much music into the heart of his son.
The rearing of this child had been a frightening responsibility. Anton and Theresa were never
sure of their methods. During Lev's childhood years it seemed as if the three of them were
teetering on the precarious edge of something that could be magnificent or perhaps terrible.
Anton and Theresa had tried to help Lev develop his gifts, encouraging him, but not pushing
too hard, holding him back a bit, but not too much. Had they succeeded, Anton wondered, or
had he failed Lev in some way that had not yet come to light?
After finishing lunch, Anton and Theresa unearthed the cat carrier from a pile of boxes
in the stock room. Theresa held the door of the carrier open while Anton tried to put
Mandolin inside. Her tail puffed and she threw her legs wide so she wouldn't fit through
the door. Finally Anton held her up by the scruff of her neck and she drew her limbs in,
responding to some kitten memory of being carried that way by her mother. Theresa tipped
the carrier on end so that Anton could lower her inside.
'We're off,' he said jauntily, taking the cat carrier to his car. Mandolin voiced her
annoyance as he placed the carrier on the back seat. Anton started the car but was reluctant
to pull into traffic and drive towards the veterinarian's office. He fiddled with the radio,
tuning into a talk show.
Copyright © 8 June 2003
Elizabeth Dobbs, USA