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Like Oil & Water

Originally published in Publishous on Medium


Cecilia Grimaldi, “Like Oil&Water”, Digital color photography

She pressed faster this time: the sound came out sharper, but it still lacked accuracy. ‘Again,’ she thought, ‘I need to try once again.’

She hated when her body would refuse to obey and kept failing at bringing to life what sounded like a perfect melody in her mind. The music underwent an inexplicable metamorphosis along the way between her head and the tip of her fingers, and the sound that entered the world was not a product of her mind anymore. Arms and fingers were either too slow or too fast, too shy or too stiff like they belonged to somebody else.

She hated when that would happen, but even more, she was scared of it. The same mysterious process had also affected her thoughts in the past: she knew what she wanted to say, her ideas perfectly aligned inside her brain, but when the moment of speaking had come she found her mouth pronouncing different words instead. And it had happened so many times she had started to believe it could have been a real fact, a phenomenon that physical laws could explain.

While staring at the beautiful contrast of her white fingers on the black keys, she reached the conclusion that a scientific approach to the problem was the way to go.

She reasoned that maybe her mind and the world she was living in were not miscible, like oil and water. They must have been made of different kinds of molecules that could not mix: whenever her thoughts wanted to leave her mind, world molecules would attract other world molecules, the same way water molecules do. This would eventually cause her mind molecules to be excluded, clump together, and never leave her brain, her mouth, her entity.
Everything made sense — well, at least inside her head. From the moment she had become able to rational thinking, she always felt like an alien to the world. Coming from another planet would have explained why her molecules were different and why she could not mix with anything around her.

She was suddenly invaded by a sense of relief, although she couldn’t quite say if it was coming from having found her truth or from the pleasure of caressing the snowy keys.

But there was still one piece which failed to fit into the puzzle: how to explain that her mind had succeeded in mixing with his heart?


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