Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Piano e Forte

Since living closely together for the past few months, Jack Pudding and Mama have begun talking very loudly or very softly like a Mannheim sonata. No crescendos or diminuendos, but sudden blasts of sound followed by the faint squeals of intoxicated mice. I am told this in letters that have cost Mama twelve kreuzers apiece. We receive one every week.

Wolfie speaks, (fortissimo): “Will you pass the coffee?”
Mama replies, (pianissimo): “I have drunk it all.”

A sudden knocking of the door before it is opened, very gently, by the maid. The landlord, Privy Court Councillor Serrarius, has brought his own barber to cut Wolfie’s beard. There is the loud, scraping sound of blades being sharpened and Wolfie's howls. My brother is twenty-one years of age and clearly a genius.

“Our scissors are blunt,” explains Mama in her quiet way to the Councillor, "and his beard needs trimming." All the while, she is discreetly knitting a shawl for the winter in Mannheim and their journey to Paris, clickety-clack, clickety-clack.

More music for my bottom drawer.

Maria-Anna Stay-At-Home Mozart.


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