He was a young man who walked alone down Columbus Avenue in the bright lights of the city and he had not seen Catherine in six years. Through the loud noise of the city, he heard the stop lights click and the air brakes of a truck stopping close by. As he crossed the street he trembled in the warm air of the summer night and the unmistakable smell of New York at dusk filled the air. His new suit loosened several blocks into his walk and Broadway shined ahead like a beacon of hope towards a new solidarity.
New York explodes in size when you are on its streets and its sidewalks and as he approached Lincoln Center and the tall glass walls reflected the city lights behind him. The sounds of the gushing water from the fountain masked the chaos and the aberrations in the windows, and this smaller and more intimate world enveloped him.
Inside the hall, he found his seat and sat down closely to and directly in line with the sixth stand of the first violinists. Footsteps from the few musicians on stage sounded close, then far once they knocked around the empty hall. He opened the program to the personnel page and read down the list until he saw her name, Catherine Korimsky. And each time he heard the click of the stage door he raised his head, until he saw her.
The first note hit like a wave, tight against the rows of the hall. Then a second wave coming back hit again looser and further way, and the two rang together as did the chests of all who listened truly and the violins came in quietly and slowly. The orchestra built up the piece together, but as he looked at her, they all dimmed and only Catherine remained in the narrow spotlight, playing the music of his heart. Her eyes were closed and her body was loose in her long moves. The thin strings vibrated powerfully through the small violin and into the hall, as they did for him when they were each other’s a long time ago, when he was happiest.
Her final note rang out and sang through the great space of the hall and joined in his heart, the echo she made all those years ago.