“The Man with the Miniature Orchestra”
by Dave Algonquin There were phrases of
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that still made Coe cry. He always thought it had to do with the
circumstances of the composition itself. He imagined Beethoven deaf, soul-sick and
his heart broken, scribbling furiously
while Death stood in the doorway, clipping his nails. Still, Coe thought, it might have been living in the country
that was making him cry. It was killing him
with its silence and loneliness, making everything ordinary, too beautiful to bear.