"What do you do, then?" she enquired with interest and bright eyes.
This was in the ward where patients wait until fit enough to escape.
Slightly stunned by her question, I hesitated a bit before murmuring:
"Lots of things, I suppose."
"You sound like a teacher. I'd say you're a teacher," she declared.
She had inadvertently opened a floodgate.
"I suppose I could be described that way, but not formally," I replied.
"What do you mean?" And again: "You sound just like a teacher."
"I teach by example, I suppose, and we all learn from life"
"What is it you do?"
"I write, paint, take photographs, compose and play music."
I slipped my very colourful cotton shirt on as I prepared to depart.
Then I volunteered: "I am a musician, an artist of sound in B♭."
Her eyes opened wider. "I can see it now. What do you play?"
"My instruments are the tenor, baritone and bass saxophones."
Her only reply was: "Cool."
"Yes," said I, "Cool jazz, hard bop and especially the avant-garde."
"Yes, I can see it now you're in that flowery shirt," she added admiringly.
"Well, I have signed all the forms; so I'll be off." I moved toward the exit.
She cupped her chin in one hand, tilting her head at an angle of 44°.
"What are you really?" she almost whispered, as I moved further away.
"I am a master musician. The entire universe vibrates in the key of B♭.
You will hear it if you listen from within with an open mind and heart.
I am a Maestro, and here but for a moment. Listen to the music I make."
"I will, I will," she chanted from the back of the ward, as I swept into
the distant corridors of ether-laden walls from far off yestercentury.
When I returned to where I dwell, I grabbed by big bass horn in B♭, and
blew it for all I was worth with windows open and a strong wind rising.
I had quite forgotten that earlier I had been lying on an operating table ...