The Band Played On
Can you hear the music?
When Lila found out her grandparents had never been to a classical music concert throughout their 80+ years on Earth, she knew she had to treat them. It would set her back a few hundred dollars, but she felt the price was worth the experience. Of course, she enjoyed the concerts too as she was studying classical piano at university The fact that she could take her grandparents was a bonus.
Throughout the first movement, she noticed her grandfather reaching up to adjust his hearing aids. Lila smiled at the thought of her grandfather getting the sound just right for the moment.
At Intermission, they all went to the foyer to get up and walk around and take care of necessities. Just by the smiles on her grandparents faces, Lila could tell they were enjoying themselves. Her grandfather was all smiles even as he returned from the rest room and took a sip of punch.
“I’m really liking this, Lila,” he said. “Had I known it was this good, we would’ve gone yearly.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re here, the both of you,” said Lila.
The lights dimmed twice.
“Need to head back to our seats. Can’t wait to hear Tchaikovsky. It’s the finale, something I know both of you have heard before. Shall we?”
Lila escorted them to the seats, and the House lights dimmed. Thirty minutes passed, and Lila saw her grandfather make more adjustments as the music softened and got louder.
When the orchestra was ten minutes into Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Lila heard chimes and bells with a pause, followed by more chimes and bells. She didn’t think anything of it initially, but during the more silent parts of the movement, the chimes and bells rang out again. Lila began looking around, and others around her were looking around.
She reached her hand over her grandmother and put her pinky to her mouth and her thumb to her ear, silently requesting her grandfather’s phone. He squirmed a bit and pulled it from his front pocket. The screen was lit, meaning it was in fact the chimes and bells culprit. Lila searched around the side of the phone to turn down the volume completely but his model was at least 10 years old so she was having a hard time locating the volume button. After fumbling around for 20 seconds, she found what she was looking for and turned it down to vibrate and then to Off.
Lila handed back the phone, and her grandfather placed it back into his front pocket and looked straight ahead, unaware of the commotion his phone had caused.
Just as well.