A Few Minutes Before Midnight


It was a typical scene in the morning of local people out at the street purchasing raw ingredients and other goods they would need on their daily basis.

I walked pass an old lady aged about 80 years old. She smiled at me, I smiled back. Yet, in my head I was rather somewhere else, always somewhere else.


I was in a small tent on my own depending on a light from a little oil lamp. The light here was probably the only light in this extensive dark sphere. I had no idea what lied within the pitch darkness out there around me. It was serene, yet also a bit frightening sometimes.

I was never sure what time it was, but it felt like a few minutes before midnight, always.

Above me was the large curved sky full of bright stars. Many times, I found myself staring at the Alpha Centauri for so long that I heard nothing in my mind. I was zoned out.

There was this sound of melancholy piano soaring along the wind all the time, but peculiarly enough I did not know from which direction it originated. I imagined I was not alone, but with this charming pianist in his fine suit and tie somewhere not far in the dark. His age might be about 35 years old. He probably had warm but sad pair of eyes.

There was nothing dreadful except those few seconds in between the end of one song and the beginning of another. Sometimes it made me think of ending my life by my own hands, so that any danger, if there was one, out there could not harm me. This thought seemed to haunt my mind, but then a new melody began and the song was played on.

I felt secure again.

I wished I could reach out to this pianist, but maybe he was not there. Maybe there was no one out there at all. Maybe it was the demon of those few seconds of interval who stopped the tune and inflamed such suicidal thought into my head, or maybe it was just a magical piano playing itself.

I was scared at the thought, but then the soft melody dragged me back to serenity.

I pulled a blanket to cover myself more tightly. It felt like 3 degrees celsius and that froze me to my bones.

Somebody called my name and I was brought back to the chaotic reality in front of me. I looked up at the cloudy sky, the rain was about to pour down. I stepped in to shelter myself… in my head.

It was dark again.

The oil lamp was lighted up again.

I stared at the Alpha Centauri again.

The melancholy melody was being played again.

I wished to meet the charming pianist again.

It was a few minutes before midnight again.

Suggested soundtrack: Am Abend by Von Sven Helbig – Sven Helbig, Fauré Quartett, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony & Kristjan Järvi – Expo 1