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  • Writer's pictureHenery X (long)

The Music Men

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

A short story

Photo by Dolo Iglesias on Unsplash

When I was on the brink of losing my mind, music helped me find and maintain my sanity. — Henery X

The Music Men

2022, Henery X ©

Seventeen-year-old Aullin loves music, which was a fact that derived from his parents’ love of the universal obsession. When his mother was pregnant with him, she and his father would dance to many tunes, especially those of the Motown Sound. So, it did not surprise all who knew him well that Aullin would become a successful musician.

Summer, 2017

Thanks to his love of music, as well as being the child of parents who loved music, twelve-year-old Aullin knew how to fundamentally play several musical instruments. He had dedicated long hours to teaching himself how-to play the instruments, and thanks to how to books he had read. Seeing he couldn’t decide which instrument he wanted to master, his parents purchased each one so his decision would be more clear. But this only made things more difficult because the more he played each instrument, his love grew to the point of not being able to make a choice. But he would eventually choose, and because of an unforeseen consequence.

“So, young Aullin. How is your musical journey coming along?” Raphael Alexander said cheerfully.

The two were sitting on a bench in the local park. The forty-nine-year-old man was someone Aullin befriended a year ago, and due in part to him being a man without a home. On his way home from school, Aullin and several of his friends would pass Raphael’s tented home, where he would sit in front of playing a saxophone. Though his friends would laugh and make fun of the misfortunes of the stranger, Aullin would give him money. As time went by, they formed a friendship. Aullin invited Raphael to his parents’ home, which was across from the park where Raphael lived. His parents got to know his story, and it was because of this that their son could continue to interact with him.

“Though I’m loving the experience, Mister Alexander, it’s also frustrating. Attempting to choose which instrument I want to play only is tough.”

“So why even think of making such a choice?”

“I mean, I can’t play them all.”

“Says who? Young Aullin, there are plenty of people who played over one instrument.”

“Really? Like who?”

“Well, Prince for one.”

“I love Prince. But I thought he only sang and played the guitar?”

Raphael chuckled, “On his debut album, For You, released when he was twenty, Prince played every single instrument, twenty-seven in all.”

Aullin was speechless.

“So, if he can do it, so can you.”

“That’s some serious commitment, Mister Alexander.”

“It is indeed. It’s also a serious love for music, and the desire to create it. I believe you possess the same level of love.”

“I do, Mister Alexander. Playing my instruments is all I want to do in my spare time. So, when did you start playing the sax?”

“I was fifteen.”

“Was it always the only instrument you wanted to play?”

“It wasn’t. I started out playing the drums and guitar. But then I heard John Coltrane, and it made my mind up.”

“Wow! Mister Coltrane must have been good?”

“He was the best, young Aullin. I mean, what he did with that instrument, I have heard no one do it better.”

“You’re pretty good yourself, Mister Alexander. So, what happened? I mean, how did you end up without a home?”

“The short version, the love of my life died, and so did my love for music. She and I were an act. We used to perform together and throughout the country. I played the sax while she sang, and oh, did she have the voice of an angel.”

“What happened to her, Mister Alexander?”

“A drunk driver killed her,” Raphael became choked up.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Aullin said sadly.

“Thank you. When I lost her, I lost my desire to do everything else. We had been talking about starting a family.”

“So, losing the woman you loved is the reason you’re without a home?”

“I gave up everything but a few belongings and my saxophone.”

“Why didn’t you get rid of the sax, Mister Alexander?”

“Because I loved it before I met Sara, and because it’s partially responsible for so many memorable moments involving her and I.”

“Mister Alexander, our talk has helped me to decide. Would you teach me what you know about the sax?”

Alexander looked at Aullin and tears fell from his eyes. At that very moment, he saw the son he always wished he had. “I’d be honored, Aullin.”

Fall, 2022

Aullin landed a job in a swanky restaurant and had been offered a recording contract because of Alexander’s tutelage, as well as his relentless desire to accomplish his goal.

Aullin was dressed to impress, as he stood on the dimly lit stage of the restaurant, and before a packed house. But he wasn’t alone. Standing beside him, and just as sharply dressed, was Raphael Alexander.

Having spent time with Aullin and doing the only thing he still loved gave Raphael a new sense of purpose. He cleaned up his act, and when Aullin offered him the opportunity to perform alongside him, he gladly accepted. And later in life, the two would record a CD together, which they would entitle, “Saxsation.”

The end

What are you willing to sacrifice to live your dreams? If it’s not everything that has nothing to do with the journey, then your dreams will more than likely remain just that… dreams.

This is the ninth of ten short stories I’m writing and that will make up a book meant to inspire the inner child in us all. The main characters will all be under the age of eighteen, showing that there’s no age requirement when it comes to living dreams. I want the stories of these youngsters to encourage the elders who happen to read them because again, there’s no age requirement when it comes to living dreams.

Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my offering.

Remember. I’m not here to convince you to believe. I’m here to offer you something else to consider.

May we never lose our desire to outdo what we’ve already done.

Peace, Love, and the utmost Respect.

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