KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Micro-Fiction: 335 words [R]

The Triangle Player

by Dan Gilmore

I went to the symphony last night. Years ago Charles and I had season tickets. Not much has changed. Same concert hall. Same music. I recognized a few faces—a cellist, a bass violin player. I was disappointed to see the tympani player had been relegated to triangle. Poor dear, having to wait all that time to deliver his single ping at the end of the second section. His face showed the wrinkles of age. His hair was white and frizzy. I felt a bit anxious for him as the orchestra approached the end of the second movement. There was a big crescendo, as if the sound was charging up a long staircase. The brass blared, the violinists dug into tremolos and arpeggios, the tympani thundered, the cymbals crashed. I was absolutely white-knuckled. Then suddenly everything was silent. And into this silence the sweet little triangle player dropped his single...

PINGGGGG...........But it was late.

My eyes welled. I’d so wanted his ping to be perfect. Was it my imagination or did the entire string section inch down in their chairs? I focused my glasses on the triangle player expecting to see a grimace or tears, but he was smirking. I’ve seen lots of smirks in my day, and he was definitely smirking. That little rascal had missed his ping on purpose. It was positively inspirational. If we’re allowed only one ping, it should never be a perfect ping, the ping everyone is expecting and will forget as soon as it occurs. I dare say, the unexpected ping delivered with passionate intention adds beauty and a little sizzle to our sometimes dreary lives. I was so inspired that I made my way to the stage door and waited for him—waited, so to speak, to deliver my own little ping. His name was Roger. He showed me his triangle and taught me how to strike it. I whispered I knew he was late on purpose. He smiled. I was positively limp with enchantment.

—From Dan Gilmore’s Panning for Gold: New & Selected Poems (Imago Press, 2014); republished here by permissions from author and press

(Details about Imago Press in Allyson Latta’s interview of Leila Joiner, publisher and editor)

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