“The drums; the drums,” he wrote. “The natives are restless.”
The drums were humming traffic; the natives his family, that long hot summer before they were engaged. Then they married. Their children had saucepans and ladles; wind-up monkeys with tambourines; plastic drum-sets, then a real one in the garage.
Their daughter loved the note.
Father died and the only drum remaining was a mother’s beating heart. It thumped and slowed, to the rhythm of time running out, to the gathering of those awaiting her beyond the veil. The heartbeat slowed till one long note remained. She calls the music love.