Sunday, July 31, 2022

Not Even Not Traveling 11: Washington and Vancouver 3, Port Angeles

Port Angeles to Victoria

On the next morning, we cleaned up, packed up, and headed out to Port Angeles. At one of the docks there, we caught the Black Ball Ferry line on the route between the USA (at Port Angeles) and Canada (at Victoria on the island of Vancouver). The ferry was big and sturdy enough to store about a hundred forty cars below decks. Above, it held more people than cars, of course, including cyclists and pedestrian passengers, and there were plenty of empty seats, although none in the dining area. I wanted to be up top and Diane wanted shelter, so we sat at the top of the three decks in a semi-enclosed space sufficient for two hundred. It held only a dozen. Farther aft on the deck, the space opened up to the sun and an actual hundred passengers roamed and pointed at seagulls. Diane could stay in the shade and I could roam the decks, which I did.

We spent time pointing into the bay, really the Haro Strait, and guessing which island was which. At Victoria, we had to pause to pass through customs. Customs in Canada proved to be friendly, though. We drove through in our rental car.

The woman in charge exclaimed, "All the way from Maryland!"

"We're just going to stay on the island for a few days."

"Well, your records check out." She nodded. "You all have a good time, now."

After a short drive uphill and into town, we booked ourselves into our next AirBNB. This time, the owners were absent and had, a bit weirdly, filled their small driveway with five cars. One of the cars did not fit and had been left on the grass. That meant we had to park in the street. However, when we let ourselves into the basement, the place was nice.

That night, we did a little sightseeing but mostly we hunted up a place for dinner. We chose Six Mile Pub nearly at random and it was better than fine.

Not Even Not Traveling 10: Washington and Vancouver 2, Olympic Park

Olympic National Park

Around noon, we went on a shopping trip in Sequim. We had to get those one or two things, always different, that get forgotten at the beginning of any trip. We treated ourselves to lunch afterwards. During our meal, we got out our maps again to plan our hiking trip through Olympic national park.

After a rest and more planning to compensate for the news about trail closures, we (well, Diane) selected a likely trail head. It was her second or third choice, though, and staying on the trail meant looping west and uphill. Basically, we marched up a slope for an hour. Then we marched back down.

We puzzled over a lot of the plants and that was fun. The forests in the state of Washington might not be any greener than Maryland but they're differently varied and dark. There's more moss on some northwest boulders than on entire cliff faces back east. There's a wide variety of lichen growing, too, and enough branches fall to the ground with a particular type of moss on them that I started to develop a theory about it.

But I didn't explain the theory, not even to Diane yet. Instead, we surveyed the local restaurants we hadn't visited and decided on Dupuis. From the outside, it looked like a pair of shipping containers made, awkwardly, by college students using adobe. And then abandoned. Someone had put up a sign in three colors that looked more fitting for a paint store. But inside, Dupuis was nice. The food was expensive but decent in the way that high-priced food often is because it consists of good components.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Not Even Not Traveling 9: Washington and Vancouver 1, Sequim and Blue Mountain

Washington State and Vancouver

Into Sequim

This has been a summer of difficult plane flights, ours included. Of course our flight got rescheduled like so many others. A one-hour layover became four hours, making for a twelve hour trip from Baltimore to Seattle including the driving. What's more, the layover made us late enough that the hotel shuttle didn't run (although it was advertised as "all day" meaning, apparently, about two-thirds of a day). Our flight savings from an off-hours trip were eaten by the taxi fare to the hotel.

The hotel gave us the wrong-sized bed (although we had paid extra for a king bed) and that needed straightened out at two a.m.. There were other hotel problems, too, but they were all small ones. We weren't staying except to wake up and get our rental car.

The rental car pickup went well (yay, Alamo) and we hit the road at rush hour but we were headed out of town, the right direction to take.  In a couple hours, we arrived in Sequim. The place is pronounced “squim” by locals as far as we heard. The town is a nice one, too, with good people and enough choices about things to do. Our AirBNB hosts were friendly and had a handful of recommendations for us. One of them was to eat at the Oasis. It didn't look like much on the outside and, inside, was clearly a local hang-out with pool tables and a bar, but the food was on target. We would recommend it.

On top of the good food, the owner saw us struggling to pack up our leftovers. He swung by to help. He proved to be friendly and interested in our opinions. Then he said,

"I couldn't help noticing you two with maps and guides to Sequim. Are you thinking of hiking in the Olympic park?"


"So you like nature trails? How do you feel about mountains?"

"We say yes to both," I laughed. His smile broadened. He relaxed and spread his arms.

"Okay, there's kind of a local secret." His head bobbed with a nod. "It's the Blue Mountain trail. It's part of the park system but hardly anyone knows about it."


"To get there, just get on Deer Park road headed west and keep going." He paused to think. "Now, it's a pretty long drive. The road narrows. And it's a long ways up. But when you get to the top, you can see the Cascades. It's pretty amazing. Most folks say it's worth it."

I glanced at Diane. She was smiling, chin resting on her hands. "I think we're sold."

Blue Mountain

Instead of heading to Olympic National Park in the morning, we turned northwest and started our drive up Blue Mountain.

First, Deer Park road started as a regular two-lane strip of asphalt for a couple miles. Then it narrowed and lost its divider line. A half mile later, it turned into a 'road,' if you know what I mean, a pressing of dirt and gravel about wide enough for a car and a half. Ruts and drainage rivulets pitted the surface. We hadn't even started up the mountain yet. I didn't want to meet another car on this trailway coming around a turn with trees on either side. My mind drifted back to the Oasis owner saying the phrase 'local secret.' That gave me hope.

Soon, the grade of gravel sloped upward. In places, it swept straight skyward. In others, it twisted horizontally around switchbacks. Diane grabbed my shoulder as the trees parted for a moment and she caught a glimpse of the path ahead. She knew what was coming, now. The road was turning into a roller coaster, the kind that slant toward the ground as if they're going to throw you. In this case, the slopes of the road off led sheer cliffs. You wouldn't want to be in a car that skidded. There was no rail, no border of any sort, just dirt that dribbled away from the tires and bounced down the slopes into the treetops a hundred feet down. Plus the road was eroding and trying to lead the car downward.

"Local secret," I said. Diane giggled nervously. The back right tire spit gravel around a turn and tried to slip off the cliff. I steered into the other half of the tilted road.

"What if someone's coming the other way?" she said.

"Fuck 'em." I meant it wholeheartedly. We weren't getting onto the fallen-away side for sure.

The mountain pass deserved its designation as an open secret. Technically, it would take us to part of the park system but you wouldn’t want many people to know. You don’t want to meet other cars. Parts of the switchbacks felt like taking a truck up onto an abandoned railroad bridge. You can sense the unsteadiness of things falling apart under you and there's a gut sensation you're not supposed to be there.

We had an hour to discuss how many people we know would not be allowed to drive up this road. We eliminated all the people who wouldn’t want to, first, and that was a good handful. And we added more. Not everyone would enjoy an hour of crumbling switchbacks or the prospect of a local headline like “tourist dummies drive off the side of a mountain.”

We never met an opposing car on the way up.

At the top, oh, even before the top, Diane gasped. As we climbed out of the treeline, she could see the Cascades. We were looking down on the clouds, down at many of the neighboring mountains. Directly across from us, the peaks were capped with snow. In July. Finally, after an hour of delicate switchbacks, the trail of gravel and ash came to an end in a parking lot big enough for eight cars. It was empty. This place was so inaccessible that we were the only ones. A glance up the slopes showed we were no more than forty feet from the southern peak, maybe two hundred feet from the northern one. If it was possible to climb, I knew I was going to do it.

Immediately, we hit an obstacle. As we parked, a white-tailed mountain deer stepped over to the edge of the lot. It spent about five minutes blinking at us and trying to will us out of existence. It was not intimidated. It seemed to be thinking about chasing us off.

But I got out. Diane got out.

We had come to hike and we persisted. The mountain deer stopped inching forward and started moving sideways. After a minute, it gave up and cantered downslope. We explored the south peak. As we descended from the southern heights, the rest of the deer herd came down from the north. The largest deer paused to stare us down for a while but it, too, gave up and conceded the frozen slopes to us stupid humans.

That left the north peak to us and we started exploring it. There were animal trails, human trails, and plenty of tracks to indicate that both were in use by the deer. We discovered a dozen varieties of mountain flowers. Higher up, I noticed cat tracks. The paws looked too big for a house cat and too small for a cougar.

"Is there anything for a cat this size to eat?" I asked Diane after pointing out the tracks.

"I saw plenty of squirrels and chipmunks on the drive up."

"Oh, I didn't notice."

"I'll bet you didn't." She rolled her eyes about the state of the road. "Anyway, there was a chipmunk near the top of a tree just behind you a few minutes ago. Sorry I didn't point it out. But you know, you've seen chipmunks before."

We climbed over snowbanks where they still blocked the trails. At one point, Diane had to battle vertigo. We gazed down a natural, green half-pipe the size of a soccer field carved into the north face. Only the fact that I'd climbed to the top of the peak forced her to steady herself and march on. From the top, we looked down at the clouds together. Diane pointed out several different, small herds of mountain deer all with the same light brown shade of fur and off-white tail.

During our hour of hiking, we never saw anyone else on the mountain or a car below us trying to drive up along the switchbacks below. We did see a weather station on the east side of the Blue, though. We witnessed fallen branches that had been moved and others signs of trail repairs made by the forest rangers, wherever they were.

A tiny songbird chattered to us on the way down.

As we descended, Diane noticed a single, muddy print in the trail that was neither a deer nor a wildcat. It had pointed claws like a dog. No dogs are permitted on Blue Mountain. Park staff posted signs about it all around. I don’t know if there are mountain canids aside from wolves, but it could not have been a very big wolf and it seemed to be travelling alone so a dog violation seems more likely.

We paused at the car to sigh once more at the views. I removed my jacket.

On the way down, we met a car. The driver, a twenty-something man gawked at me in disbelief. The young woman next to him seemed fit and cheerful, but tired. The driver looked thin himself, in good shape, dressed for hiking, pale, and exhausted by his drive. I wanted to roll down my window and yell, "Keep going! You won't believe this but it's worth it!" Instead, I had to settle for driving my car up against the edge of the mountain and waving to him as he waved to me, our hands a few inches apart as he drove onward.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Not Even Not Zen 265: Tucker Mythology - Juggling Knives

Tucker Mythology
Juggling Knives

One morning while we were still in high school, I knocked on the door to Tucker’s house. His family let me in and his mother sent me upstairs to get Tucker.

"He should have been up already," she called after me.

I knocked and walked in. We talked for a minute while he got ready to go hiking. As I paced back and forth next to his door, I noticed a fresh, narrow divot in his hardwood floor.

“I didn’t do that, did I?” I said.

“No, man. That was totally me.“ Tucker laughed. He opened up the panel in the wall where he kept some of his equipment stash. His machete was there. He gestured to it. “It’s a funny story, actually.“

I marched a few steps and reached for the machete. I liked to play with it. It had a good weight.

“Oh no, man. Don’t grab that yet. I sharpened it.” He chuckled and replaced the panel. “In fact, that’s kind of the story.“

Yes, what had happened was this: Tucker had sharpened the machete.

That doesn’t seem like a big deal. But here is the additional important information.

1. I had tried to teach him to juggle.
2. My father and brother had seen us and tried to teach Tucker to juggle. They almost succeeded. He could make a pass with three tennis balls from our garage.
3. Adam had taught him to juggle much more. He had gotten Tucker to make four passes in a row and two with clubs. He had taught Tucker the trick of timing a club toss.

Naturally, Tucker did not want to stick with juggling clubs. Even though he couldn’t juggle for long, he wanted to practice so that he could upgrade to machetes.

Does the sharpened machete seem more sinister now?

Tucker had been juggling his one machete, when it was not very sharp, to get the timing. Then he sharpened it. He did it because it was a machete. It was such a very cool thing to have. And he kept going. Because we used the machete in the forest sometimes. He pretty much sharpened the blade until he was tired. He cut himself mis-handling it, too. He should have known. On some level, he did know.

He put away the blade and forgot about it for a while. The day before I visited, he took it out, as usual, to practice juggling. He used as a club. He flipped it, caught it. Flipped it, caught it. Flipped it again.

When he realized he had flipped it too hard and the point was going to come down in his hand, he yanked his hand back. He did not dodge. He left his foot in place under the falling machete.

The point came down on his boot. It was a nice, hard, leather boot. He should have been safe. I had seen him drop the machete before on his boot. But those drops had been mere fumbles, not anything with force. And the blade hadn't been sharp. This time, the machete blade sliced through his boot and through his foot and all the way to the floor. That was the narrow divot in his hardwood floor.

“I saw that, Eric, and I thought: oh man, I’m fucked now.“ His mouth hung open as he told the story. He still looked a little pale. “I thought I was going to the hospital. The funny part is, I was more worried about what my parents would think. My dad doesn’t know I have his machete.“

“Should I be getting a needle and thread?" I glanced around his stuff. He probably had a full first aid kit somewhere. That would be like him. "Do you need stitches?“

“No, man. That’s the best part. I was stuck to the floor but it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it should. I pulled the blade out, and I put it back. Then I took off my boot.”

He took off his tennis shoe to show me. I looked around for his boots but didn’t see them anywhere in his room. So I inspected his foot as he lifted it and pointed to the space between his big toe and the second toe. He had a little cut in the flesh between his toes.

“I just missed losing a toe, I think.” He rubbed the cut and laughed.


Would you think the moral of the story is that he learned to be careful? That he didn't play with the machete so much?

We were teenagers.

But he may have learned something. He never made the machete quite as razor sharp again. In later years, when I observed how careful he was with bladed weapons, he mentioned the machete lesson. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Not Even Not Zen 264: Tucker Mythology - Smooth Running

Tucker Mythology
Smooth Running

In the spring of 1984, I took six months off to make money for my next semester at Hampshire College. As it happened, Tucker had moved back into the neighborhood. He was in the process of dropping out of Penn State.

Almost immediately, we started going running every morning. My goal was to put in an hour of exercise three days each week. I had taken a triathalon class in college, and because of it I had started running a little. Tucker was totally into it, way more enthusiastic than I was. He moved our training frequency up to four days, then five, then seven. We bumped the time from forty minutes to sixty to ninety. Sometimes we ran for two hours, sometimes more.

"Man, I had to be in the pool with you when we were swimming. And I was in running shape, not swimming shape." He laughed in anticipation of teaching me cross-country endurance.  "I didn't know there was a difference. Now you'll see what I mean."

He was right, of course. I had to train up to a reasonable pace and distance. The whole time we did that, we caught up on each other. Tucker talked more than I did. He always had. He described his time at Penn State. He told me about the ROTC program and the drinking there. He told me about the girl he’d lost his virginity to and what she was like. We traded jokes about his sex life. He taught me a dirty song from one of the fraternities.

As we talked, Tucker got sobered up and in shape. I'd spent a year not drinking, two years earlier, and now he had to do something similar.  

"You know, I've never had to exercise self-discipline before," he said. "I always had my father's discipline or the school discipline. I never got to set my goals, make my plans, and carry them out."

He was mad about it. He thought not having the freedom to fail as a teen had set him up to fail when he left home. He was angry at himself for not having enough discipline to party and go to classes, too, and we traded advice about doing that.

After a couple of months of us talking and guessing at our running distances and pace, Tucker took his family car over one of our road circuits.

"That was seven miles," he announced. He beamed as he sweated the next day. "We started out with three miles. Up to seven already. Seven is good."

Tucker had visited me at my college once. It was a hippie and punk scene there, almost opposite from the fraternities and ROTC he had joined at Penn State. But he had liked some things about Hampshire, mostly the academic freedoms. He asked about how my college work was going. He asked for details about my girlfriends. In March, when one young lady came down to visit me, he insisted on taking us both out on a double date.

"She's really cute," he announced after. "I don't care how much money you need for school, you shouldn't have left her. That's crazy.”

During the spring and summer we traded advice about women, about school, about discipline and about the details of long distance running. He measured our running courses on the back roads.

"The path we've been doing twice a week? It's over ten miles," he said. "Damn, we're really doing okay."

We alternated long runs with short ones, learned to shout entire conversations across the asphalt in time with our breathing, endured the yeehaw shouts of derision from men in trucks, laughed about the suggestive catcalls from women, and in a very general way, we improved ourselves.

“This is a pretty fast jogging pace,” I said once.

“We’re not joggers,” he insisted. “We’re runners. We don’t jog.”

All those months, whenever someone said we were out jogging, he’d shoot back, “We're running!”

Once, he smiled and as an aside he told me, “I think that’s from cross country team. In high school, everyone insisted we were runners."

"Jogging isn't cool enough?"

"I didn’t really buy into it then. But now I do.”

At the end of May, Tucker shouted to me that he wanted to go into technical photography. I shouted back that I needed a description of what that was. We loped along roads and trails while he told me. We traded lists of possible schools. He was researching the ones with photography programs. We bounced our ideas around. The critical point for him was that he thought he could stick to a degree if he really liked the work. And he loved photography.

Finally, after a lot of discussion and research at home, he decided on RIT. We thought through every part of the application together. As we ran, he described each question and every paragraph of each essay. Beyond that, he planned how he was going to devote himself to academics.

"I don't want to miss the social life either, though," he said. "Do you remember catcalls from that car of women?"

"Which one?"

"Brown pickup truck, I think. Anyway, I was thinking about taking a break from all this running. But then came the appreciative comments from women. And I kept going."

"Well, good." He hadn't talked about giving up.

"A few days ago, I was running on my own, just me, and I got a woman hooting and hollering at me for having a cute butt."

I started to laugh while running. We were in shape for it.

"Just me. I'll tell you, it's kind of made my week."

And so we kept running.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Not Even Not Zen 263: Tucker Mythology - Constant Back and Forth

Tucker Mythology
Constant Back and Forth

Three yards in from the road, next to Tucker's driveway, stood an oak tree. It was young, not more than fifty feet tall. It grew next to a row of pines. One branch from the oak stuck out parallel with the gravel drive. To Tucker's father, the natural arrangement looked like the right place for a tire swing. I didn't see him put it up. It was just there one day. Tucker introduced me to it.
His father may have meant it for Tucker's younger brothers but it was hard for Tuck to not try it now and then. He had never had a tire swing before. Maybe it seemed unfair to him that his father built one that was too weak to hold a teenager.
"I can't swing too much because it hurts the tree, I guess," he said. He shimmied into the rubber circle and kicked his legs. The branch dipped an inch from his weight. "But I can't swing a whole lot anyway. It makes me dizzy,"

"I'd forgotten about your balance problem." Hands on hips, I watched him for a minute. It was hard for me to comprehend how far the effects of his surgery extended. He looked perfectly fine. He acted fine, too, most of the time.

"Want to see something funny?" Tucker kicked his legs to the side. "I can spin in the tire for a long time. It doesn't hurt the tree as far as I can tell. It makes me so dizzy it's like being high."

"Okay. Let's see it." I was pretty sure he hadn't gotten the barest sniff of marijuana at that point in his life but I knew what he meant.

He ran his feet along the ground in a circle. Then he twisted and twisted until he couldn't get any more tension. He let go to take a spin and, sure enough, within half a minute he had lost his balance so much that he had trouble getting his feet back on the ground. I had to help him stand up in a crouch with his hands on his knees.

"I'm not sick," he laughed. "I don't want to throw up. It's just I can't walk."

Next, I took a turn, longer than his. After it, he took another short spin. We spent an hour switching back and forth, deliberately making ourselves dizzy. I mentioned some science news articles I'd read.

"Did you read the issue on brains because of what I said about my brain operation?" he asked as we meandered from topic to topic in the news. "'Cause I haven't even done that. And I'm the one who got operated on."

"I thought I might find something out." There had been a lot but the summaries had all been more general than I'd liked, nothing to give me a clue about where Tucker's spontaneous coordination problems came from. "Brain anatomy is a little interesting. They say balance is kept in a couple of places, ear and brain."

"That, I know."

"And intelligence is neat in general. Apparently higher cognition is all in the frontal lobes. I'm not sure if I believe that But it's what the books say."

"What about computer intelligence?" He had seen my father and I working on computers at home with sheet-fed line printers. He had eyeballed the output of BASIC language code and that was probably what prompted his question.

"That's a long ways off." Except for a few science fiction stories involving computers the size of planets, it didn't exist. "But it would be neat."

"Aren't you worried about them taking over or something?"

"Nah. I don't have any say over my life anyway." That part seemed dumb. Even the best robots were too clumsy and too stupid to last. Plus they wouldn't want what I had if someone made them smarter. "They can't take anything from me."

"Oh, yeah. Same, I guess." He glanced toward the road. It was my turn to spin and swing but I had drifted to a halt, bored.  He asked, "What would you do if you could make computers intelligent?"

"Hah." I drifted in the tire and thought. "I would give cars emotions. Wouldn't that be great?"

"What?" He barked an outraged laugh. "Eric, that's crazy. Why would you do that?"

"Then they could complain when you slammed the door. 'Goddamit, I told you about that.' And when you got in an accident they would scream. 'Oh my God! I'm dying!" I gave the words my best mad, melodramatic car voice.

"You’re weird, Eric."

"But so are other people."  His accusation seemed to come out of the blue. "Last week, you said Adam is weird."

"Yeah," agreed Tucker. "But it's not the same. He's normal inside but he's trying to act weird. Because it's cool. You're genuinely odd. You have weird thoughts."

"Thanks." That was my favorite sarcastic word, thanks.

"I don't mean anything bad by it." He raised both hands a little defensively. "But you think differently."

"Okay." The fact that he kept going on about it was starting to bug me.

"You're deeply, deeply weird and you're trying to act normal."

"Well, then it's working." He didn't answer me, so I glanced over. "Right?"

"A little." He gave me a sly sort of smile that let me know he'd made a joke. At the time, I didn't get it. It took me another year with him to realize what he meant by that little pause with a barely noticeable smile. 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Not Even Not Zen 262: Tucker Mythology - An Undark Secret

Tucker Mythology
An Undark Secret

Some people have secret talents. These special abilities are so mysterious, the people affected by them often keep them hidden even from themselves. Tucker had at least one such talent. It lingered in the background of his mind for almost his whole life.

He was not aware of it even when he talked about it. The first time I heard him reveal his musical ability was in 2018, immediately after he heard a barbershop chorus concert featuring the Frederick Catoctones, the Frederick Children's Chorus, and Parkside Harmony.

"It sent chills down my spine, man," he gushed. He pushed forward through the crowd after the show to give me a handshake.

"What did?" Something was different in his face. He had a relaxed, open expression most of the time but now it had grown even more intensely relaxed and yet more alert. He was more calm and more eager than ever with a twinkle in his eye about it. I had no understanding of what had made for the emotional change in him.

"I don't know what it was but I could hear the chords and sometimes they weren't right. I mean, they were good chords." He glanced apologetically at me as if he were listening to himself and trying not to sound insulting. "You guys were singing well. But the music was missing something. It was weird. I wondered what you all were getting at. But then one note changed. And suddenly they were. They were right. The chords, I mean. Everything just resolved to be perfect. It was amazing."

Not many people have such a visceral reaction to listening to a progression of chords resolve into a final chord in its sequence. For many talented musicians, hearing or playing the progression is merely pleasant. For a few, though, it's ecstasy. The difference makes some musicians great. They stand out from the others, over time, because they are so moved by the music. It inspires them to higher levels of artistry. But you have to have the right complexity of mind to hear it.

It's not a matter of being more intelligent or less. It's a matter of being the right kind, of having a precise match of ear and brain.

Tucker talked and checked himself and talked some more. He had almost no musical terms to describe what he was hearing. He kept stumbling through his sentences. But I understood. And I was jealous.

"You were so good," he said, as my jealousy turned to feeling flattered. "When the whole chorus came together, my god, it was something else."

It was not in the plans for Tucker to come to the cast party. Barbershop afterglow events are not much more than thank-you speeches and spontaneous singing. But when he heard there would be more singing and that I had an extra ticket, he invited himself. It was almost impossible to stop his eagerness and his joy over the chord progressions in the music. He needed to hear more singing. He couldn't bear for it to stop.

"It was rapture," he said at the party. He repeated it.

I kept waiting for him to say that he wanted to sing. It would have been nice to hear. I hinted at it. But he turned down the suggestion with a flip of his hand. He didn't think he could do it. As far as he was concerned, performing music wasn't for him.

There are only a few people, a small percentage of us, who hear chords in a certain way. I don’t get that emotional effect from them myself. To me, they're nice, not soul shaking in the way they were for Tucker and a few others, most of them professional musicians of some sort.

He could hear the tension in the chords as they progressed and were deliberately left unresolved. And then resolved to a new cord, the right one. Tucker knew, absolutely, what was happening. He was waiting for the final chord in the sequence each time.

He knew. And spent the rest of the night trying to tell me how gorgeous it sounded.