When I arrived at the designated meeting place that Sarah had suggested I realized that this was the first date that I ever had. I was never interested in having dates with members of the opposite sex – and as I remember, members of the opposite sex were not falling over each other to go out with me. I think I struck them as being a nerd. I was probably afraid of women. I was shy and did not speak well. I was self-conscious and embarrassed; they could easily see through me and recognize the fact that I had mental problems. Don’t get me wrong. I had an eye for a pretty girl, but I always felt that girls would not be interested in me. I really had nothing to talk about. With music on my brain and no words coming out of my mouth, I must have been a thorough bore. I knew that I was awkward and fidgety because I did not know where to put my hands. I knew no other subject but music, and I was not willing to waste my time talking about it to people who could not understand or might even walk away from me while I was in the middle of a sentence. Sarah, however, was different; she loved music and, I thought, she was interested in me. She was going to be my wife; I was quite sure of that.
I had gone to a few school dances. Many came alone in order to meet members of the opposite sex. My mother urged me to go in order to get to know some girls. There were refreshments and tea and soft drinks, and everybody danced. I suppose I was like a wallflower because when I noticed some pretty girls standing or sitting around I would tell myself that I should invite one of them to dance with me, but by the time I gathered up enough courage somebody else would have asked them to dance; or else, the dance would be over and everybody returned to their tables. The result was that I seldom danced at these affairs and I hardly ever met anyone. Once I danced with a girl, and she said “You can’t dance”, and she walked away to her table leaving me alone on the floor. Socially I could be considered a failure, and I accepted the situation knowing that I would never change. Now, of course, I had Sarah, and that was a stroke of fortune. If you are patient good things will arrive when least expected.
As I entered the tea room I saw her standing at the reception counter arranging for a table for us. She was even more beautiful than I had remembered. She wore a red dress and a glittering necklace and, when she laid her eyes upon me, she had such a generous welcoming smile. I felt so proud, not only of her but also of myself for having been able to make such a conquest. Was I rushing ahead of myself? It felt great having a beautiful woman waiting for me. My spirits were uplifted.
“I feel as though I have known you all my life” were her first words to me, and I kissed her – something I had never done before to anyone, apart from my mother.
We were led to a table, overlooking some busy streets far below us. The London traffic with its double-decker buses and numerous cabs looked like toys racing along the streets below us. The music in my head was particularly loud, but full of joy and excitement. It was spilling out of me as though I had to express it aloud. I said to the waitress “Do you have a piano here? I have to play something now.”
“We have one, but wait - let me ask the manageress. Nobody ever plays it.”
While we waited Sarah asked “What is it that you wish to play?”
I said “I have music in my head that I have to express to you now. It is like a part of my conversation with you. I want to speak to you in music. I can say it in music better than in words. If I try and speak it I might make a fool of myself.”