Monday, April 16, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1522 Hidden by Janet S. Tiger (c) April 17, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1522 Hidden  by Janet S. Tiger (c) April 17, 2018                                                                          

                       A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved  2015                                                                           

        (The actor enters carrying a violin case, which he holds lovingly.  He takes out the violin holds it up and stares)

Still beautiful.  So beautiful.  I fell in love the first time I saw you......but you were in someone else's arms, belonged to another.  So I loved you from afar.....and was green with envy when he touched you, played you....made music with you.....

I had to have you.....I know what I did was wrong.  And I have paid for it....will pay for it....eternally....because I gave everything I had for be able to touch you whenever I wanted.  Although I had to hide you all these was worth it!  I would come down to the basement.....where I hid you, my captive, under those old tarps.  Protected a little from the damp, I could never play you, only hold you in my arms.....

You were like my the one of that Dorian Gray.....that aged in the closet while he stayed young.....I did stay young only because I died young......twenty years I had you......I was fifty when I died.  The first string that broke, I felt the first twinge in my heart.....I could never tell anyone, not even my wife.

       (He touches the violin, hugging it to him)

The strings broke one at a time, I should have loosened them, but sometimes, I would stroke them, and they are much better tight.....with each broken string, a new ailment.....

Trouble with a blockage in a ventricle.....hard to repair....they warned me of over exertion.  Every violin I touched was you.  Every one I played in every second rate concert at every college and community event......I played you.....

I was always willing to be second fiddle.....that sounds funny when I say it out loud!  I knew they were watching me, waiting for me to try to sell you, but I would never do that - I could never let you go!

         (He puts the violin down, looks around furtively)

It was truly what they call.... a crime of opportunity.  I had left the building, headed home, everyone saw me.  And then I remember I had forgotten my the pocket of a sweater I used in the Professor's room.

        (He shakes his head)

He trusted me.  I don't know if he knew how much I hated that he had you and I didn't.....but all of a sudden, there I was, in the room with you......and no one knew I was there.

        (He approaches the violin, looking for others)

I couldn't believe my luck, but it wasn't really luck, was it?  It was truly a business decision....with the devil.  He made me an offer I couldn't refuse......they would never catch me....and they didn't.....but I could never play you in public, be seen with you, show how much I would always be....a secret.

My wife vouched for me, that I was home....and I was.  I ran like the wind to get there as quickly as I could, to hide you away from the world.  She didn't lie, she just didn't know the truth......ever.  I died before I could tell her....the devil calling in the chips, right there in the middle of the street.  I was dead before I hit the ground, and even though they tried to get me back, I was gone.

        (He puts the violin back in the case)

It's funny,  the Professor always suspected me, I think, I could see it in his eyes.  But there was no proof, and I had to pretend to be insulted anyone doubted me.  That was hard.

Hiding.  Hidden.  Sometimes, when I watched the shows about the men who murdered people and buried them in their basement, and no one understood.  Well, I did.  They wanted to keep what they loved close to them.....a secret that only they knew.  Because it becomes a treasure.  And that's the way I always thought of this....a treasure.  One that I could never have afforded in my I paid....with my soul.

       (He turns to leave, stops,looks back)
Thank you for letting me come here, and hold this one last time.....I imagine.....where I go next.....wood doesn't do well......

      (He touches the case one last time, exits......)

First posted 
     Day #550    Aug. 16, 2015

This was inspired by a story in the news - I think the real story would make an amazing play or movie - 

A rare, 281-year-old Stradivarius violin stolen in 1980 from a beloved musician and teacher has been found, according to Nina Totenberg, the National Public Radio legal affairs correspondent and daughter of the late violinist Roman Totenberg.
The prized Strad, crafted by the famed Italian luthier in 1734, disappeared after a performance by Totenberg in 1980 in Cambridge, Mass. Later today, at the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York City, the instrument will be returned to his three daughters. Nina Totenberg declined to speculate on its value, though a Stradivarius violin sold for more than $15 million in 2011. 
Roman Totenberg, a Polish-American violinist who played with major orchestras and became a leading teacher in the Boston area, died in 2012 at the age of 101.
“The agent said to me, that’s his one regret, that they didn’t get it back in time for him to see it and play it again,” said Nina Totenberg. “He was practicing two weeks before he died in 2012. But you know, I like to think that somewhere, somehow, he and my mother know about this. And who knows, maybe they made this happen.”
Totenberg rarely, if ever, spoke about the Strad, his daughter says. It had been stolen from his office on a Thursday night after a concert on May 15, 1980.
“It was like a death in the family,” said Totenberg, who will accompany her sisters, Jill and Amy, to today’s ceremony. “You just move on. But I’m sure he thought about it.”
The story of the Strad’s disappearance and recovery, as told by Totenberg in an interview, is a surreal tale that sounds like a cross between “The Thomas Crown Affair” and a Robert Ludlum novel. That night, Totenberg, 69 at the time, had performed a concert at the Longy School of Music, where he served as director. The instrument was taken from his office during a post-show reception. Totenberg’s suspicions centered on a young musician, Philip Johnson, whom he saw milling about after the performance. But Totenberg never had enough solid evidence to convince legal authorities to search the musician’s home.

It took 35 years, but in the end, he was right. Johnson, who moved to California in the 1980s, died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 58. He left his ex-wife an instrument in a locked case. It wasn’t until earlier this year, Totenberg said, that Johnson’s ex finally cracked the combination lock. She found the Stradivarius and sought an appraisal from an expert. The appraiser examined the violin, contacted the FBI Art Theft team and it was seized. The Totenbergs repaid the insurance company the $101,000 doled out back in 1980 so they could reclaim their father’s violin. The sisters will sell the Strad, but not to just anybody.
“What we know is that we’re not selling to somebody who is a collector unless it’s with a specific purpose of being played by somebody,” Totenberg said. “We all agreed it has to be sold for the purpose of performance.”


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Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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