Orpheus at the Two-String Mule Swinghall

by practicalspactical

He has greasy black hair. He is playing a mournful song on an old dented guitar in the dim light main room of the Two-String Mule Swinghall two miles out of Fresno. Outside, its that magic long-shadows hour between noon and dusk, closer to dusk.  Inside, he sings. His voice is clear, edged — Eurydice is in the back, leaning against the backwall, a tumbler in her hands, ice and whiskey, her girlfriends around her, attending — — Her eyes are for the singer only — eyes absorbing the light bouncing back off the strange edges of the old guitar, ears breathing in the strangely structured air that carries the singer-player’s song. And he see her, shielded by her drink and friends — and while his ears keep record of the product of his fingers, his eyes are for her alone — dark hair and dark eyes, with long shadows.

Between them the space is filled with his song but also with future happening, memories not yet written, songs not yet played, out of time, past it, and somewhere at the end, a final song, saddest song of all, a human voice unaccompanied singing alone — the song that exists here exists alongside that other not-yet-sung, not-yet-pain, eyes not yet wide, long dark journeys into evenings not yet taken —

It hangs between them, a column of fire, a pillar of smoke, a cloud, a wind, a presence, an absence, there, with them, along-side the singer’s voice and guitar’s echo. Verse, chorus, verse again. Her eyes are for him, and his eyes are for her, reaching towards each other’s inevitably reflecting light.