A Mundane Night in the Life of Fiona

A Mundane Night In

The Life of Fiona

To Sanjana, whose love gave me the confidence to write and draw a small book after 11 years of writing my last one.

It was an unusually heavy day at work for Fiona. To moonlight as a jazz trumpet virtuoso and to work in the day as a house cat demanded a lot already, but today she got stuck inside a swarm of autograph demanding fans who considered her to be the greatest trumpet player after Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Louis Armstrong (although she never listened to a lot of jazz except Chet Baker occasionally). Fiona was a lovely singer as well. She sang some of the most heartwrenching ballads with her strong voice that could yearn but also shake the yellow walls of the concert hall. Fiona sent the audience to a silent trance while singing tonight.

“Seek me out

Look at, look at, look at, look at me

I'm all the fishes in the sea

Wake me up

Give me, give me, give me what you got

In your mind, in the middle of the night”

Lives of artists can be really demanding, Fiona was grasping that fact after her recent exposure to a larger audience. She finally got home (by slipping inside through the window gap). She took off her small green hat which had a white flower sewn to it. Fiona then kept her trumpet inside one of the shelves of a old wooden cabinet. She also knocked down two pieces of cutlery in the process. She then repared an apple martini for her. Even cats need a good drink after a tiring day of work. She purred a little and rubbed her face with her hands. After a while, Fiona played a Billie Holiday record on her gramophone. She climbed on her owner’s green couch and listened to the music, slightly drunk and considerably relaxed.

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

Black bodies swingin' in the Southern breeze Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees.”

Fiona loved to listen to artists with strong voices. Particularly because she wanted to relate to artists who drew attention effortlessly. It was like the whole world stopped everything to just look at you. It must be such a nice feeling when people leave their mobile phones to just look at you, Fiona wondered. Strong voiced singers can tear open the skies and make them bleed red and soft voiced singers can make you sleep quieter under yellow dim lights. Is this really the dynamic that a trumpet player who sings shares with their instrument as well? Fiona wondered. She had many questions.

Newfound fame can force you to ask so many questions.

Fiona slid down from the chair and climbed on the wooden cabinet, taking out her trumpet. She cleaned the thing with a soft cloth. While cleaning it she started to wonder who did Autumn Leaves the best. Chet Baker? Ryo Fukui?

Bill Evans? Nat King Cole? Eric Clapton? Fiona wondered and wondered and wondered and wondered and wondered and started to play the song.

“Na na na naaaaa”

The trumpet played.

“The falling leaves drift by my window”

Fiona sang.

“Na na na naaaa….”

“The autumn leaves of red and gold”

“Na na na naaa….”

“I see your lips the summer kisses”

“Na na na naaaaa….”

“The sunburned hands I used to hold”

Her voice and the trumpet were doing a duet, note by note.

Everything went effortlessly. The lights flicked and the wind from the outside softly bristled against the newspaper sheets and the curtain. It must be so beautiful when everything in the world leave their mobile phones to listen to you perform, Fiona wondered, gratefully. She was thankful that the lightbulb, the green couch, the yellow walls, the gramophone, the wind outside, the pale moon and many other spectators came to see her perform.

Fiona smiled with her tongue a little out. She stared outside. Either it was the apple martini or the night sky was looking bluer. Night skies are never blue.

Only in paintings, they are painted blue. Night skies are different shades of blacks in their authenticity. Although it is a mystery why they choose blue of all colours to depict night skies. Fiona once argued that it is the absence of the very real blue sky of the day which creates the urge to fill the gaps and colour it blue, albeit in a dark shader. She opened the window and crept outside of it. She then climbed up to the roof of the house and stared at the night sky.

The night sky looked beautiful.

Fiona was gazing endlessly at the moon.

A voice came from inside.

“Fiona?”

“Fio, where are you?”

It was her friend (humans call this category as ‘owners’), looking for her.

Fiona crawled down and slid through the window gap.

“There you are baby! I was looking for you the whole day!”

“Where were you? I missed you a lot.”

She said, while caressing Fiona’s face.

“Sit here and don’t go away. I will bring something to eat.”

A Mundane Night In

The Life of Fiona