Wednesday night I stepped out of the Mons train station onto a blanket of snow. I started the walk home, taking a route that I’ve come to know so well. As I began to climb the first hill I couldn’t help myself, I began to cry. I also wasn’t able to stop grinning like an idiot.
About an hour and twenty minutes before I had shed those tears in the snow I was just taking my seat on my train home from Paris. I put on the new Beach House album and got out my copy of John Cage’s Silence. A few minutes later a girl, maybe a little bit older than me, black, took the seat next to me. The train started to move, I read a few sections of my book, and then closed it and set it on the little fold down table in front of me. A moment went by and the girl gestured to my book
“Can I read?” (in English)
I shrugged and handed it to her. I detected some sort of an accent, but I’m not sure where she was from.
I proceeded to fall asleep (now to the new Charlotte Gainsbourg) as she tore into Silence. An hour later I woke up in preparation for my stop and she was till reading intently. I looked over and she smiled
“You want to give it to me?”
She said thank you about five times, and like that I exited the train.
Maybe that was the first time she’s ever heard of John Cage. Maybe she would have never been introduced to music of that strain, philosophies of that depth. Or maybe she’s already known these things.
I don’t know. I may never know. but I hope that she enjoys it. I hope that it gives something to her. I hope that she can give something too.
Maybe this is what those people feel like who hand out tracts or leave bibles in hotel rooms.
It felt good to spread the word, spread my religion. I became a bit lightheaded as I sloshed through the streets of Mons.
My bag felt a little lighter too.