restricted access Genius
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21 Genius Flying fingers, the final chord, and young Mozart, dazed, squints beyond the footlights as the rhythm of applause urges his muscles to more music and he looks down at his matching set of hands, separated at birth, which call to one another like lonely birds across continents of muscle and bone. Now his blood swoops and caws so he has to bow and walk off to find a paper to write on, but the conductor leads him back where stage lights pin him down so the audience can see him: jerking, pirouetting before them. This monstrous gift! he thinks, I’m nothing but the earth trembling when god dances. Love is what he wants, and quiet. But his fingers curve to cage the second movement of his next opus, springing into his mind so madly— when a woman in her blue gown hops onto the stage like a cadenza in his—already!—unfolding third movement and what if he can’t remember it to write it down—and now 22 he feels her cool hair against his cheek! So it’s possible, he thinks. A woman. He prays to find the doorknob, walk out of the music, kiss her from some part of himself that means it, be granted, just, oh God, one day with her in silence. ...


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