C minor woke up a little groggy. He didn’t really want to begin his day, but after lying in bed for awhile, he finally decided that it had to start somewhere. He awoke late with a bit of a hangover, and a G major chord was coming in measure five whether he was ready or not, so he forced himself out of bed and put on the C minor signature flats.

He barely stumbled out of measure two when a very attractive E flat major chord walked by. He felt strangely close to her, as if she were a more cheery version of himself. He began to head toward her, but he couldn’t quite make it to where she was. He caught a glimpse of his reflection walking past a bar and realized that he would have to change a little to attract her attention.

He had developed a strange psychosis. Over the course of many years, he had become obsessive about affected behavior. So many keys were pretending to be something that they weren’t. He developed a mantra around the phrase, “B natural”. In the end, he became so unflagging in his efforts to b natural, that it became its own affectation. He really wasn’t natural, and pretending to be so was actually pulling him into a parallel universe.

Running quickly, he caught up to her and started a conversation.

“Look, I feel like I already know you. It’s like we are related or something.” he said.

“We do seem to have several things in common.”

“It’s true, and every time I take a second, I feel like I’m being drawn to you.”

“That’s sweet,” she said. “I do like you, but…”


“Well…why are you so sad all the time?”

“I’m not always sad. Sometimes I’m just serious, but like I said, when I take a second, all of my melancholy diminishes.”

“So, why don’t you take a second?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes. I’ll give you a chance.”

He took a breath and felt the change sweep over him. The rush of emotions swept him up into her sway, and he felt the crusty edges of his morose temperament join her sanguinity. The world was new again. In the past, whenever he went to see f minor, it was always followed by an immediate trip to his friend G major. G major always told him the same thing: “B natural.” So, he would b natural, and it would lead back to the melancholy. This time, they saw f minor, and went to B flat instead. The flat was nice, and it sent them straight on back to E flats place.

“See,” she said, “isn’t it nice?”

“It is, but don’t you ever get drawn away? Don’t you ever get tired of being happy all the time?”

“Of course. I sometimes go far away. I visit friends of friends. You would love to meet my German friend. She sounds exactly like one of my other friends. I visit her, but I always come back. It’s OK to be sad when it’s appropriate, but the important thing is to have a baseline of stability and happiness.”

“I’m not sure I’m wired that way.”

“Stop talking like that. All this determinism drives me nuts. You aren’t given an intractable personality. You can make choices. Happiness is a habit.”

“Don’t say, ‘Happiness is a habit.’ There is nothing that makes me shut down faster than trite pop psychology.”

“Don’t call me trite! Just because I have a healthy psyche doesn’t mean I’m being inauthentic somehow.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I don’t think you’re being inauthentic. The problem is with me. I do like being with you. It’s just that when I’m with you, I don’t think that I’m being myself. I’m not being authentic.”

“Whatever. We aren’t that different. You just choose to start from a different place than I do.”

“I’m done. I don’t want to argue with you. I’m going to see G major.”

G major was nearby, and C minor told him the whole story. G major listened sympathetically.

“Look. I think I can be objective,” G major said. “I’m not technically related to you, but we are close enough at this point in our history that I feel like I have a way of centering you.”

“So, what should I do?”

“Go back home and sleep on it. We are only at measure five. There is a lot left in this story. You don’t have to have all the answers right now. In the end, you may wind up alone at home. You may be melancholy or serious with a sense of authenticity. You may wind up spending enough time with E flat that she influences you. You may wind up in a parallel universe in the end. It will all be OK.”

C minor went back to his place. He poured several fingers of single malt and became immediately and wonderfully thoughtful and melancholy.

“I wonder what will become of me,” thought C minor. He passed out in a chair looking into his glass with a sense of serious hopefulness.