Clarinet

Clarinet: (n) a woodwind instrument with a single-reed mouthpiece

There were twenty-one members in my junior high school band. Eight of them played the clarinet. It not only seemed imbalanced, but
sounded even worse.

It didn’t take me long to learn to hate the clarinet.

It’s one of those instruments that has to be played perfectly, and even when it is, one’s listening toleration is abbreviated.

The famous clarinetist Benny Goodman may be the only person who will ever be remembered fondly for putting the “black licorice stick” in his mouth. Every other person who licked the reed and then tried to blow through the horn has produced varying degrees of misery for the surrounding humans.

I know there may be those who disagree with me. They may even cite a case when their clarinet solo in high school brought their mother to tears. (But are we sure they were tears of joy? People often cry when they’re in pain…)

I think it’s safe to say that even if you find my assessment to be too judgmental, I probably will not find you anytime soon attending a concert advertised, “A Clarinet Chorale.”

 

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Bludgeon

Bludgeon: (v) to beat someone repeatedly with a heavy object.

Dictionary B

All she said to me was, “I need help.”

I think it was probably the tone of her voice which let me know that my young friend on the phone was in trouble.

She had married a man who certainly had a reputation for being psychologically imbalanced. But she insisted she loved him, and truthfully, he seemed to thrive in their relationship, losing some of his waywardness.

But then he got used to her.

She wasn’t magical anymore.

She was available–maybe too available.

So since it was impossible for him to beat on a mirror, he started beating on her.

Little infractions at first (if there is such a thing).

But I could tell by listening to her on the phone that she was in deep trouble and I needed to get over to her.

My car wasn’t fast enough. By the time I arrived, he had bludgeoned her, making her face appear to be twice its normal size. Blue, black, purple and strains of red began to surface with the swelling.

As I tried to calm her down, I watched the damage grow right before my eyes. She was so wounded.

I had never seen it up close and personal, just portrayed on TV with make-up and tricks. But this was real.

I felt pain just looking at her face.

It looked as if she would never be able to totally reconstruct her features again. As I comforted her and we waited for the arrival of family and a police officer, I told myself to register the image of her countenance in my mind for all time.

For you see, sometimes violence has a slight sniff of propriety.

Maybe we think it’s a good way to get even. But any time you lay your hand against another traveler, the human body displays the vulgarity of your efforts with the horrific image of swollen pain.

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