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  Original Music 2010

Memory Arsenal

  Memory Arsenal

4 minutes 42 seconds| Alan Turning and The Halting Problem: theme, variation. I am fond of the French horn melody that appears late in this piece. This opus may be construed as a dedication to Alan Turning.

Novel Icon Novel-in-Progress, excerpt 26| The mysterious woman and Lowell settle into a conversation on his couch:

The curator handed her a saucer of tea and shortbread, and, in taking his offering, it was assumed that somewhere on her adorned fingers one ring was a wedding band. It only made sense. He could not envision a scenario by which an attractive young woman, hungry to be adored for the treasure she was, should come to a forsaken landscape except by legal instrument of marriage. The twenty-something was better suited to breakfast at Tiffany’s, or a bohemian cafe, than the Christmas tree skirt-draped sofa of a recluse. Her finding him was as unnerving as it was unlikely, and as unlikely as it was welcomed. Was he advertising for company with his show of lights and canned snow? Was he some outlandish male bird making an exhibit of feathers for a purpose he could not envision? With Margaret in the back of his mind, he never supposed it.

The conversation becomes, through no willful design, more intimate:

There was little mystery in Lowell’s life, though this is what he aimed at by surrounding himself with decrepit holiday decorations. He glanced again at the probable wedding band on Eva’s finger, and wondered why the thought of a husband—never mind the dog—was as far out of her mind as it was in his. Did she have expectations in allowing herself to be physically close to him? Would one only come to her if he acted on his expectation? Was he capable of forming a rational expectation about another human being?

“It’s beautiful,” he mumbled belatedly, and with more than the necklace in mind.

“Was the angel for me?” she asked sweetly.

The question caught him short; he stumbled.

“The angel in the yard… Did you put it there for me?”

He swallowed hard, and loud enough to be heard echoing off the wall across from the shared sofa. It was difficult to tell if she waited on an answer, or if her stare was another question. There was something tragic and hopeful in her eyes (where he could bear to probe them).

In his wavering to save her, she tipped away, letting the chill wedge itself between their unmoored bodies. The jewelry was tucked down into the camisole, which exposed a bruise on her breastbone; she noticed his noticing.

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