Traveling in time to visit Chopin for inspiration

Traveling in time to visit Chopin for inspiration

chopin time travel

I took my time-travel machine to summer 1831 in Paris and the home of Frédéric Chopin. Chopin was in the midst of unpacking from his move. I offered to help, and he accepted. I’ve always liked helping people move. I used to do it as a job. I couldn’t believe I got to help others move and get paid for it!

I asked where he had moved from and Chopin said Warsaw in Poland. He asked me where I was from, and I said California, 2018. He said that I was the fourth visit from a time-traveler that year. Two of those times were from conductors who had questions about one of his pieces that they were preparing for a performance. Another had shown up from a Google time-travel “I’m feeling lucky” random visit.

I said I was visiting because my sound system was down and I wanted to listen to some soothing classical music. It helps me write. I showed Chopin my notebook and three pens. Chopin said that he hadn’t unpacked his piano. I said I could help. Chopin said that he was feeling tired and needed to rest.

We went out to his back porch and he laid down on a cot. He was asleep in seconds. He looked like a corpse, frail and pale. I watched him breathe. On his exhale, there was often a five second gap before his inhale. No matter how many times it happened, I kept thinking that he had died. This made me nervous. I often think the worst of things.

Chopin woke about an hour or so later. I asked how he was feeling. He said better. He said that he didn’t feel he had the stamina to unpack and play his piano that day, and would it be okay if he were to hum me some melodies. I said that would be nice.

I opened my notebook, pen in hand ready to write. Chopin began to hum in a craggy voice. It was upsetting to me, but I kept that private, hoping that he was only warming up and would soon sound mellifluous. But the jagged urks continued. I sensed that their underlying melodies were sublime. Yet I was in turmoil. I wrote things like, “How do I regularly find myself in these kind of shitty situations?” and, “I want to jam my pen in his eye.”

Finally I excused myself to use the restroom. From the toilet I could slightly hear Chopin’s harsh hums, but they was mixed with sounds from the city: horses hoofs, street hawkers, children at play, bird chirps and whistles, chatter and shouts from various people, clanks from a blacksmith. I sat on the toilet, opened my notebook, and began to write.

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