Novel Excerpt “The Ghosts of Nagasaki” — Late Night Concert

I’m only a few blocks away from my apartment when I hear it, the soft meandering of piano music. It’s just past two in the morning and on the second floor of this house someone is lightly tapping away at their piano keys.

I stop and listen. I sit there, content for the moment, and listen to the pianist confess through her music. On this night, I circle around once, twice, three times, and hear the same person, still at it, trying to make her tune perfect. I think about how strange it is that someone is practicing this late at night, that none of the neighbors complain or fuss, that the cops haven’t been called.

Eventually, I sit down outside the wall separating the street from my apartment complex. From this spot, I can still hear the piano music, though only vaguely. I start to relax in my semi-drunken stupor. I’m playing with my cellphone, flipping it open and closed again. I imagine some small schoolgirl, barely in middle school, practicing and dreaming of being a concert pianist—or an older lady whose life has passed her by. She’s there on the sidewalk with me, listening to herself play. She asks me if it’s hopeless, and I tell her that she already has one fan she can count on for life.

In my semi-drunken stupor, my eyes begin to close, a warm feeling takes over me, and slowly I start to remember an age where dreaming seemed the most natural thing in the world.

If you’re interested in reading “The Ghosts of Nagasaki” you can purchase a copy of the book here:…

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