His fingers pump like they're sewing corn, leaves in long mittens, ripple like they're fondling long silky scarf tassels. As he leans into the rising passage the bench creaks. I hope the microphones were concentrating on nabbing the notes. I look at the technician; we can splice it out, he murmurs. I breathe. Please, seat, don't make him have to do it all over. He doesn't have time.
Just as he doesn't have time to chew now on the conductor canceling. On that disastrous hotel in Munich. On Joyce telling him their son said his first word. In three days, he will see them for one half-hour. If only he keeps his head in that personality-less cubicle and throws buckets of harmony at the walls.
I've seen all the sessions. If he stays upright, really feels the keys slide under his fingers, puts all of himself there - and there - and there - tosses chords like entire bouquets, he will fly clearly.
If he bends he's finished.
And when the flashing red light finally goes off, I will breathe, knowing that we finally got that last damned sonata in the can, and the whole set of CDs can come out soon. And he can stop rushing to this city, to this studio to shove in another movement. Soon he can stay home. And soon I can hand him back his date book for a while, until I manage his next tour, his new conductor, his better hotel room.