The Musical Transcriptionist
The Musical Transcriptionist is a figment of my imagination. She is not a real person. She is all angles, a slender ankle, a graceful neck. I am a curve; therefore, I can't help but hate her.
The Architect sends me a text that you might send to a wife. It is nothing sexual. It is a text of an existential nature; why am I the way that I am; how am I different. Actually, this may not be the sort of text that anyone sends to a wife. My husband, The Endocrinologist, does not send me these types of texts. But I know The Architect knows I understand him. I know that he is not with a woman right now; otherwise he would not send me this text. Women temporarily dull the pain.
The Architect sends me another text two hours later, telling me to forget everything he said.
I text The Judge about The Musical Transcriptionist and The Architect. The Judge is my best friend besides my husband, The Endocrinologist. The Judge always takes my side. As a judge, she is trained to look at all the angles; however, in this matter, she is biased.
I live in a neighborhood that has been made for endocrinologists and their wives. We have green lawns, vast kitchens, sleepy side roads, tree-lined. We bloom in the spring and die in the winter. There are no seasons in the city where The Musical Transcriptionist lives. The Endocrinologist goes to the city every day, and the wife of The Endocrinologist, The Writer, me, stays here in the neighborhood with the grocery stores that overflow with produce and the playground that spills over with little children and the school buses that regurgitate the older children onto their doorsteps and the husbands that are deposited out of commuter trains and come home for dinner and the night cap and the surprisingly enthusiastic and tender lovemaking after so many years.
The Endocrinologist comes home to me every night.
I should be so lucky.
The Architect introduced me to The Judge. I wondered at the beginning whether this was him giving me something I need or me taking something he could give.
Of course The Musical Transcriptionist is real! She has a Facebook account! She has a website where she advertises her services! She has a profile picture, wearing her birthday dress. Her ankles are like a bird's. I look too long and hard and of course I look again. I can't stop looking until I tell myself to stop looking and then I look some more.
The Architect sends me a text. It's a picture of a steak. The Architect hasn't been eating much lately. This is his dinner. He drinks a lot and sometimes that's when he texts me.
Happy? he writes.
Yes, I reply.
The Endocrinologist and I have a nice life. He grills the burgers and I make a side salad. We take turns playing music in the car. Our tastes are different. He likes jazz and blues and music like The Musical Transcriptionist transcribes. I like punk rock and sad songs and everything else, except for anything that The Musical Transcriptionist likes.
I know it would be more elegant to call her The Craftsman, The Artist, The Scribe, but I don't have it in me. She will always be The Musical Transcriptionist to me.
I tell The Judge about some of the reasons that I worry about The Endocrinologist and The Musical Transcriptionist when I'm not feeling my best.
Oh honey, she says.
The Endocrinologist and I go to the beach. I've been thinking about The Musical Transcriptionist lately, so I play punk rock in the car on the way there. It is a ferociously breezy day. The umbrella shakes and flaps violently in the wind. I reach my hand out to steady it. It's going to blow away, it will impale someone in the heart and kill them, I can't let this happen.
Love, The Endocrinologist says.
I let go of the pole.
It's buried deep in the ground. It's sturdy. It won't fly away.
Ok, I say. I won't worry about it.
Yes you will.
Ok, I say, but I'll try my best not to.
Sometimes when the weather is fair, all I can see are storms.
The Musical Transcriptionist writes other people's music. Right now I am writing my own.
holds an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark and a bachelor's degree from New York University. She has also attended the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Yale Review Online, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Queen Mob's Tea House, Ghost Parachute, Juked
and Vestal Review
, among others. She is at work on a novel and a short story collection. and you can follow her on Twitter at @amykw