Two lost lives intersect. Two people that came from opposite directions intersect for a brief moment and separate again. But not without making an impact. The life of one of them was forever changed.
The professor led an almost ideal life, with his wife Martha who he loved deeply. The only dark side of their life was the lack of children. They compensated for that by focusing on their love of art and music and learning from each other ‘s interests: Martha who loved art learned about music (Beethoven, Brahmas) and the professor who loved music learned about the Impressionists and Picasso and visited art museums with her. They completely focused on their relationship and on their mutual interests. This idyllic love ended with Martha’s death, which left the professor devastated and lonely. Art and music kept bringing back sad memories, which caused him to neglect them and neglect himself. After Martha died there was not much left for him to look forward to.
At that moment, the professor intersected with another lost person – Adrian. A young musician with a genius-size talent for playing the guitar. However, Adrian was a strange person with a turbulent past who preferred to disconnect from society and live adrift on the streets of San Diego. His music, even though sounded heavenly beautiful, came to him effortlessly and mechanically and he used his musical talent only as a way to make a living while on the street.
Desperate to hang on to something that would perk up his life, the professor dedicated himself to reconstructing Adrian. He focused all his energies on bringing Adrian back to society. For him, Adrian was the future, something to look forward to, and maybe the child he has always wanted but could not get from Martha.
This could have been a charming story with a Hollywood-style ending. But that would have been too predictable. In the surprise ending, Adrian never really wanted to return to society. And even though he went through the motions and accepted the professor’s attempts to civilize him, it was yet another “mechanical” move for him. But as he was confronted with the ultimate exposure – playing publically in the big concert, his inner voice finally reacted and he rejected it.
As the two abruptly separate, Adrian disappears back into anonymity. And the professor, devastated again by another lose of love, discovers the beauty of life on the street, which provides a strange sense of security (you cannot fall further down from there) but also anonymity and freedom. Is it freedom to perform his newly acquired talent of playing the guitar, or is it freedom from the spirit of his dead wife which hovering over him restricted his and ability to live a normal life. The professor found a new “normal” way to live – on the streets of San Diego.
Even though the professor and Adrian come from opposite backgrounds, there are many parallels in their lives. Both women in their lives play a restricting role (i.e. Martha’s role – after her death) and prevent them from doing what they really want. And in both cases they strive to release themselves from this constraint.
Is there a message or a moral in this story? Maybe it is that you should always follow your inner voice and live your own life, and not somebody else’s life, even if it is your spouse.
And yes, another message is that life on the street has its own advantages.
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