mandola is a less tightly strung, larger version of a mandolin. This one, someone told Jeremy, had been stepped on, which may have been true. Whatever the cause, it had been cracked for as long as he’d owned it, and certainly never played since his grandfather had gotten Parkinson’s and lost the touch. Now it is repaired.
Jeremy’s grandfather had been a butcher, a boxer, a policeman. Once, while on duty in San Francisco, someone hit him in the head with a liquor bottle and he had to go with Jeremy’s grandmother and mother out to the countryside to heal for a number of years. That’s what they did in those days, go someplace quiet to heal.
Then something happened, and Jeremy disappeared. None of us were in his apartment anymore with its steel window frames and view across the East River to the Manhattan skyline. We were somewhere else inside the strange old resonance between that instrument and time.
Listen, the instrument was inside a forest of pine with the light streaming down, a quiet place where one goes to heal.