street cellist

i) scents: familiar skin and unfamiliar skin, bedsheets left to hang in the sun, sunlight, warm light, the earth after a storm, the different perfumes of a night sky in every season, in every city and mountaintop, pine-sol, the soft, tender space of a small child’s head, the scent of the ocean that stays with you days after you’ve visited the shorelines (hidden in pockets and the soles of your shoes and in the little hollow of your belly button), passing by christmas trees with my eyes closed at seven in the morning

ii) sounds:
street musicians, cellists playing on subway platforms, snow falling on more snow, the silence of the world coated in that snow — your footsteps like avalanches out your front door, the hush, hush, sigh, of slippered feet in the morning. a weekend morning, waking up because of sunlight licking your limbs, and hearing the coffee brewing in the kitchen. coltrane’s ‘in a sentimental mood.’ hearing ‘i love you’ as an alarm clock. august’s crickets. sparse guitar music. voices that sound like water falling over rocks. the sound of a smile over a phone call.

iii) things to touch:
skin to skin, the hair out of someone’s eyes, a warm mug of fresh tea, people who wear textures like it’s a lifestyle. grass under bare feet, pulling at them like bedsheets with your fingers. wet stone. the skin of another person’s hand. drawing lines across a lover’s face. pen to paper. every surface of the world — wooden floors, moss floors, the floor of your palms.

iv) colors:
wine in clear glasses. the eerie black of a guinness. the pink of flushed cheeks. the paler parts of a boy’s body. a peachy sunset. deep wooden floors. red lips. a colored pencil the color of tree lines. the clarity of water pulling towards the shore. a pale, pale, moon in the daylight.

v) books:
the english patient (michael ondaatje). in search of lost time (mostly vols. v and vi). fugitive pieces (anne michaels). a convergence of birds (edited by jonathon safran foer). bluets (maggie nelson). just kids (patti smith). beloved (toni morrison). as i lay dying (faulkner). the collector (john fowles). perfume: the story of a murderer (patrick suskind). bel canto (ann patchett). the book thief (markus zusak). the history of love (nicole krauss). the people of paper (salvador plascencia).

vi) movies:
the fall, amélie, princess mononoke, almost famous, ferris bueller’s day off, cruel intentions, donnie darko, the bfg, anastasia, inglorious basterds, moon, garden state, perfume: the story of a murderer, delicatessen, a very long engagement, lord of the rings, spirited away, edward scissorhands, eternal sunshine of a spotless mind, all dogs go to heaven, wristcutters: a love story, the diving bell and the butterfly, pan’s labyrinth, chocolat, howl’s moving castle, the pianist, it’s a wonderful life, the truman show, trainspotting, big fish, laputa: castle in the sky, the science of sleep, blood diamond

vii) kisses:
the ‘kiss me like you won’t see me in three weeks’ kiss

viii) touches:
the one that says ‘promise me you’ll stay’

ix) words:
kitten, kaleidoscope, kitten, melodious, soliloquy, kitten, pamplemousse
(this wasn’t an actual list of words i don’t have the time for that)

x) voices:
my father’s preacher voice. patrick watson. joni mitchell — her voice like water, her voice like rain. the voice of someone who trusts you. the three in the morning voice. the soft voice of a boy who will always love you.

Would you Play with Me?

Eremin AU where Eren is a street musician (cellist) in New York City, and Armin is a pianist at Julliard (a super prestigious and famed music school for those who don’t live in the US).

One day, as Armin is strolling through the streets during the holidays, he hears a song; to be specific, a rhapsody of Christmas carols. Armin follows the sound, his pace quickening, until he’s at the front of a small crowd of people. The cellist and the cello both look like they’ve seen better days, but the way that the cellist’s green eyes flash, and the way that his chapped lips quirk up into a smirk has Armin entranced. Armin stays for the remainder of his performance, and once the crowd disperses, Armin strikes up a conversation with him. He offers to buy the musician, who he has come to know as Eren, a coffee, to which Eren, who’s normally suspicious and hates when people help him, accepts for whatever reason.

So, they head over to a coffeeshop, where Eren excuses himself to the bathroom after they find a table in the corner, and when he comes back, Armin quickly glances down at his latte because he didn’t remember Eren to be that cute before…

They talk for awhile. Then for a little longer. Until, it’s ten at night. Armin has found out that Eren is actually not homeless, despite his appearance today, it was just that the water heater had broken in his rather sketchy apartment, so his water was frozen. Discovering this, he asked if there was a way to reach Eren, only to have the brunet pull out a phone with one raised eyebrow. They exchange numbers, and sure enough, their relationship is quick to bloom.

For New Years, Armin invites Eren over, asking him to bring his cello, and they end up playing a duet. Eren sits on the piano bench so that he’s facing away from it, so close to Armin that their shoulders knock together occasionally. They pause once the duet is finished, a feeling of stillness settling over the room, and when Armin turns his head to say something to Eren, there’s the press of warm, now only slightly-chapped lips on his.

Bonus: Eren always goes to Armin’s performances, even when they’re fighting, because whenever Armin plays the piano, Eren can’t help but smile and let the tension in his shoulders loosen. Besides…the way that his blue eyes light up, and how he blushes and grins when the crowd applauds…it’s quite the sight for Eren to behold while being restricted from jumping up on stage and wrapping his arms around the blond, nuzzling his face into his hair.