An angel over manchester.., p.2
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       An angel over Manchester and a devil in Seville, p.2

           Gary Rostock
 
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the sun and the sangria, the taste of a forbidden life of enjoyment, not trudging to Trafford Park for two weeks, the otherness of it.

  Angel 1:Yes Robert, but we were waiting for you too. We wanted you to find the right way, it was in you. Do you remember the day when you saw him? He was playing on the street and you’d never heard anything like it before. Your dad, your poor weary dad who’d had to listen to the music of the jokers for so long couldn’t take it in, he loved it didn’t he? But he couldn’t take it in. But you, you could feel the longing, the need to feel the despair. That player was mine Robert, he was there to entice you, and it worked, it worked so well. When you looked at him tell me that you couldn’t see inside him, his fear and pain and that fear and pain made him play for us, and he still plays for us, but somewhere else these days.

  Angel 2: Yes, we know that your first contact was with them but we were late, we had another who we wanted you to hear, one more turn, one more street, but this time they were quicker. Do you think because your music has soul, it is the gift of him? Do you think that the dark is not also the gift of my Lord?

  Robert: My head’s swimming with all this. You’re both telling me that you knew I’d fall for this music and that you were there? How could you possibly know that I’d love Paco de Lucia and not the usual soccer chant music that boys should like?

  Angel 2: In the world there always those who we, and they, know will be exceptional. Each of us wants this exceptional person to do our work. If you were for him it means that forever you will be lost to us and we want you to know that we do not want this, never, ever, never.

  Angel 1: So ask him Robert what he can offer you. I know what’ll he’ll say because I once would have said it too. He will offer you redemption. Redemption? From what? From this life of what? Tell me what exactly what do you have? Your father is dead and always will be dead, you can live at our side. You can be our piper, you can sing our siren’s song. We have and always have had a place for you. Forget the idea that you have of Hell, of Brimstone and a thousand flailing bodies. This will not be for you, you will be a chosen one. Your music will soothe the great one at any time. And we’ll put you here many times. The music you have chosen will be played for a thousand years, and we will allow you to play it. Can he offer you that?

  Angel 2: Yes. I will offer you firstly redemption and a place at our high table. Here we cannot offer you the pleasures of the flesh, of drink and debauchery. Is that really what you want? I’ve listened to you here a thousand times and I want to hear you one thousand times more. We love you Robert and we offer you our love and immortality at the right time.

  Robert: How can it be a that a young man from Manchester has an angel and devil here and they are not in Seville where they should be.

  Angel 1: When you saw the glint in that player’s eyes all those years ago, it touched you even then even at the age of nine. Your father couldn’t speak do you remember? He’d remembered just why he never wanted to be who he was and he saw the possibility too. When he sat with your mother later that night in a small bodega that no English tourist would normally visit he realized something that you feel inside: he was born in the wrong time, in the wrong place and he never wanted you to have that. He felt at home there, with their strange food and their friendly ways. He wanted it, he wanted to try it all but it was already too late but not for you. So do you know what your father did Robert? He called on me to protect you and hold you tight and to let you play as much as all your heart could play on an instrument that he could only dream of. For this he gave me his very essence, so that you might live a real life. He had no interest for himself, even then he knew he would die breathing hard and with the smell of vomit close by.

  Angel 2: This is not true Robert, don’t let him lie to you. Your father prayed to us and asked and pleaded for a better life for you. But we already knew that you would have your gift inside. We told your father this, don’t you remember the look in his eyes when you played him you first lines? He knew all that he had would not be all that you have and for him that was the culmination of his life. Yes, he suffered but he was happy inside that though he would die you would live and your music would live for all time.

  Robert: Can I ask?

  Angel 2: Anything Robert.

  Robert: Does my dad hear me play? You said you’ve heard me a thousand times and that the two of you have sat by my side a thousand times, but what about my dad? Did he hear me?

  Angel 2: Do you remember the music school and the test? We were there, he sat right by your side, don’t you remember how the smell of him, cigarettes and iron filings seemed to drift by? He sat by you and smiled. His love for you and for what you’re doing was all that I needed to see to tell me that you must follow our path. Take heed, if you choose the other path you will be lost to your father and lost to me.

  Robert: So my dad is where?

  Angel 2: He’s with us, and that you will find more about this another time.

  Angel 1: But of course he would say that wouldn’t he? Your father led a most miserable life. Do you really think that he would turn down the opportunity for all the times we can give you? He wasn’t a religious man you know this. For him it meant nothing where he shall spend his other time. He used to look at the musicians the artists on TV and you know he always wanted to be them. Of course he had no talent and could never do so. But you, you are our chosen gypsy boy. You look surprised. Your father probably didn’t even know but you are a Gitano, you are a child of Iberia. You are the sun’s child.

  Angel 2: He is telling the truth this time. You are a Gitano and now you can see why all the flamenco wells up in you, comes from you, here is just home, it is not who you are, who you want to be. So my question is this: will you stand by our side? Will you accompany us, inspire us with the music that you’ve made your life? You know that a Gitano is who you are, but it’s raveled deep, very deep inside.

  Robert: How…how can I be a Gitano? My family are from here, born and bred within four or five miles of this spot. A gypsy? It can never be.

  Angel 2: But Robert, we are talking about 200 years ago, nothing to me but so very much to you, this I’m sure you see? We were waiting for you for you to arrive, because of course you come from a great bloodline. Now you must decide if you’ll walk in the dark or in the light.

  Angel 1: He knows which road he’ll need, the one of pleasure, of lust, desire, but of also pain, of hate and jealousy and anger and regrets and of betrayal. Which road Robert? We all need to leave and the decision must be witnessed by all who are party to the deed.

  Robert: So you come here, in the blink of an eye, you tell me I was chosen before my time, you tell me I’m evil and you tell me I’m good, my father sold his soul or prayed like a lost man to above. So now I’m a gypsy, a Gitano, a seller of dreams. So like the gypsy I am I’ll bargain this time, I’m a musician and will spend time at both your sides. Perhaps my lust will be good for the light and perhaps my joy will be good for the dark. So there it is: I’ll spend my time with an angel over Manchester and a devil in Seville.

  The End

  Please go to https://garyrostock.wordpress.com for more stories and samples

 
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