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Bist du bei mir

violin stringThe violinist pauses with the rosin, and asks: “Are you sure?”

When thou art near, I go with joy
To death and to my rest
.”

Misha says, “Yes.”

She wears plumbago on her wedding day, a gauzy dress that she’s had the Maid of Honor secure shy of her left breast; there are spangles that decorate the gown, upward of her navel and in a line down her right thigh.

“It’s our song. He just doesn’t know the second line.”

The violinist raises an eyebrow. “Bist du bei mir. It is pretty.”

She puts away the rosin bag into a narrow case, a recessed compartment, and rests her bow onto her shoulder.

“I’ll play it.”

Misha later draws water in the kitchen, for tea; she’s a surgeon and that she had wine on the day he tried to un-surger his own wrists, was granted three-months leave. She makes tea, has taken up cigarettes.

He emerges from the back room and there’s no spotting on the gauze he wears now as decoration, wrists healed, and because she’s crying he wraps his arms around her. Bach is playing in the kitchen and, because she’s crying, Misha is given a longer hug than usual. He begins explaining the song structure to her, though he still doesn’t know the second line.

“He wouldn’t otherwise hug me, but I was given pass. I was sobbing,” Misha explains. She’d rather not tears for him, but they happen.

Like when he frustratedly unwrapped her on their wedding night, where she felt she could be a treasure unlocked, but where he found pins and hindrance instead, the stars she had placed as if you could choose constellations, where above her sex he ignored the careful and particular twist of her dress that was meant to be revealing when unraveled, these details of intimacy ignored; he fell asleep and she cried.

O how joyous would my end be.”

And Misha presses her face to his collar.

“The continuo part is agitated in this version. You OK, Love?”

“Fine. Just hold me.”

Twice he moves to release their embrace.

If your fair hands
Would close my faithful eyes.

“It’s ok, Babe,” she says. And she wished he would remove the wristbands as they scratch the back of her neck.

The violinist exhales, not exactly ready. She then chords the throat of her instrument as Misha stands at the runway, wiggling in uncomfortable shoes. She raises the bow, shuts her eyes, and begins playing.

 

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