"Symphony" by Sherman Alexie

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Illustration By Steven Weissman

The old man claimed that he'd once lost a grand piano. Just misplaced it, he said.

Another old man who flew weekly on business purposefully missed most of his scheduled flights. He wanted to be either the lucky guy who missed a plane wreck or the sad bastard who boarded one.

The young bicyclist didn't see the car. No, the young driver didn't see the bike. No, the bicyclist saw the car and assumed the driver would stop. No, the driver saw the bike and assumed the bicyclist would stop. No, neither of them saw the other. No, they saw each other but neither wanted to let go of their momentum.

On their third date, the woman told the man that she'd had seven lovers. He said that he'd been to bed with nine. The real numbers were 11 and 4.

His uncle chopped off his left big toe with an ax rather than go to Vietnam. He said that it was a brave way to be a coward.

At her husband's funeral, the widow held on to her brother-in-law and thought, for the 78th time in her life, that she might have married the wrong twin.

Last night, a grand piano knocked on the door. I'm lost, it said. I didn't believe it. recommended


Comments (10) RSS

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Well, I see I am the only comment, but I would just like to say this is beautiful. Hearfelt, sincere, emotional, beautiful. Please continue writing this column.
Posted by leah sellsted on September 7, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
I think there are so few comments because Alexie writes so beautifully that it is hard to throw off a quick response. I love his work.
Posted by PenguinGirl on September 8, 2012 at 4:12 AM · Report this
I love this style of writing, its a shame the comment count is low, I hope the page hits are decent. More please
Posted by DawnLB on September 8, 2012 at 11:04 PM · Report this
lauramae 4
I read everything he writes.
Posted by lauramae on September 9, 2012 at 8:35 PM · Report this
Posted by Midwest fan on September 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Fill the world with beautiful work, sherman. Keep it up
Posted by Elizabeth P on September 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Mr. Alexie writes prose like poetry.
Posted by JustaPerson on September 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM · Report this
So good it makes me want to chop my toe off too.
Posted by Maddys on September 10, 2012 at 7:05 PM · Report this
HAHAHAHA, that was great! The piano knocks and says I'm lost. Priceless. I think I'd categorize that as poetry, not fiction, though. Beautiful stuff as ever, Sherman.
Posted by pinkskirt on September 15, 2012 at 3:48 PM · Report this
Yay! Love this. Everytime.
Posted by Amelia Malcolm on September 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM · Report this

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