Day 47 – The Impossible Celloist

This is the result of emailing a man named Ken whilst simultaneously naming The Four Snails of the Apocalypse with your boss on instant chat at work.


Word count: 838


Ken was perched at the very edge of the stage, microphone posed before him. The high vaulted ceilings
ricocheted the acoustics of the chattering voices below. Thousands of eager eyes watched his every
move, waiting for his wise words of experience, hardship and, eventual, triumph. Ken, despite his
celebrity status, despite his alter ego of confidence, suave, savvy, intellect and courage, was quivering
in the chilly sea of his audience’s gaze. The pressure was all on him. The pressure to annunciate, the
pressure to make them laugh, to make them cry, to hold their attention, to keep them entertained; this
wasn’t something he ever thought he would be capable of.

Ken had written a rough speech. He’d written several drafts but they never felt right. They never
read or sounded like they would accurately depict the struggle that he had been through. It would all
seem too trivial or too contrived. He needed the freedom to converse with his audience as if they were
coming round for afternoon tea and a quick scone; all three and a half thousand of them.

Ken gulped as a few members of his congregation spluttered and coughed. Whether this was an
attempt to make him start or whether they were genuinely ill, Ken did not know but he did know that he
had now been standing wordlessly on the edge of the stage for almost two minutes now in a stasis of
stage-fright and social shock.

“My name is Ken and I am thirty years old. I wasn’t born with any great privileges; I didn’t do particularly
well in school. I’ve no upper class family background, there is no wealth or first in line for the family
fortune. I was not particularly driven or ambitious as a child. I preferred to have fun and to live life to the
full. I left school at seventeen and began taking jobs where I could, just to earn a little money to pay the
bills and to try and enjoy life. I struggled. I struggled so much. There was either no work or little money
and it soon became apparent that my life was heading nowhere. And it was, it was for many years. I’d
grown accustomed to the dead end life I was leading and it wasn’t until fate intertwined in my life’s path
that the opportunity arose to get out of the hovel my life had become.

“At the age of twenty-three, I randomly won two tickets to see The World’s Orchestra – the most
prestigious and elitist orchestra in the world, though I did not know that at the time. I turned up with
some girl I had been dating at the time and I wasn’t holding out for much. That was until the slow hum
began. I was immediately encapsulated. From all the instruments on stage – the brass, the timpani, the
clarinets, the flutes, the violins, only one instrument lured me with its seductive sound. The Cello.

“I left that concert with a burning desire to hear more of the cello. I went to many more concerts and
gradually became more and more involved with the instrument and its string family. But it wasn’t until
I met Brad Henderson – composer to the National Orchestra – that I ever thought about playing the
instrument myself. Still on minimum wage, I scrimped and saved for my first second hand cello. It didn’t
even have the strings! I had to wait another three months to afford those!

“Now I know what you’re thinking… it would be impossible for a man of my… appearance to be a cello

player – to even pick up the instrument was a feat in itself. But I was determined. Two years it took me
before I would play in front of anyone and that person was Brad Henderson. I wrote to him and told
him of how he had inspired me and he wrote back wishing to hear me play. He was – evidentially –
astounded and immediately rung up Theodore Walcott – composer at the time of the World’s Orchestra
– and demanded to give me an audition. I did. I attended it. I was as nervous as anything – though
more nervous tonight than that day! Here was me – struggling financially, school dropout, no illustrious
family background and barely a history in classical music – standing in front of one of the world’s finest
composers and musicians.

“Well we all know how I did,” Ken grinned. The nerves had finally left him, “So from that day onwards
I was a member of the World’s Orchestra and my name went down in history. I hope that I can inspire
others out there like me – those financially unable, those and those – like myself – who seemingly
are physically unable to do or achieve the things that may seem out of reach to them. But despite
everything, it’s fantastic – though challenging at times – being the world’s only snail celloist.”

~ by S.G. Mark on November 23, 2011.

One Response to “Day 47 – The Impossible Celloist”

  1. hehehehe

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