As we kissed that evening, Sylvester grew uneasy and more sensitive in his movement. I wondered what was wrong. We ate as usual and the thick powdery snow fell still, thought it wasn’t sticking as you would expect. It was almost as if even the snow was uneasy. I replayed the day and the day before in my mind over and over again and I wondered if even the elements could feel my dismay. I was once again brought back to that moment when I had been both within and without; buried within the roof tops of Paris only a few short days ago, the day I had met Marius. Once again, I was reminded that I was both within and without of Sylvester’s world; he insisted to me that I was his world, but I knew his real world was his mind and his canvas and his piano. And whatever it was that he wasn’t telling me.
I had always marveled at Sylvester’s artistic talent. And that night, in an attempt to revive him from his melancholia, I had asked him to play for me. He played Eine Kleine Nacht Musik. He had played that that first night was had made love. In fact, I felt he had chosen it deliberately, though I doubted he had remembered any of the more subtle details on our meeting, though Sylvester was truly a man of subtlety. This night was no different. He played for hours with almost vacantly full eyes staring into some unknown distant point beyond the horizon. As I watched him, I found myself wishing increasingly that I could ask him about his family; did he have any siblings? What did his parents do? Was he born on the island? These questions and other such expressions of mediocrity swirled in my mind throughout the evening.
My need and eventual intention to ask the aforementioned questioned grew so much as he played that I began to believe that the melody he played was in fact hypnotic. I couldn’t ask him these things, and for that reason I would always remain both within and without. I was to be condemned to live a life devoid of truth and devoid of knowledge. A life governed by pure belief, just as Sylvester had up until I had freed him. I wondered how I would find answers. I could go back to the Angel, yet I didn’t dare enter that place alone. I watched as he grew more and more tired and eventually fell into a deep sleep.
I took my chance. I went to Sylvester’s heavy oak chest against the end of the bedframe and yanked open the old creased leather which had bound it shut. His world was truly full of enchanted objects, very few of which made sense. As I delved past the old pens and paintbrushes, I found an old white night dress. I recognized it – it was the night dress he had given to me to wear that first night we had spent together. Why had he brought it with him all the way to Paris? I pushed it to one side and continued down deeper into the trunk. My hand met a glossy feeling papery item, it wasn’t a book, it was too thin to be a book. I got a grip on it and pulled it up sharply. Its contents spilled out over the floor. It was music. Nut old music, battered and used with smudged ink and water marks. The thing I had been feeling was a folder. I picked it back and examined it in my hands and found a small name inscribed in think black swirling ink on the bottom left hand corner. F. A. Palvine. The same name that had been engrained into the Angel. I left it to one side and continued down deeper into the chest passing many other objects of very little interest to me until I came to a small papery thing. It was an envelope. I wrenched it out and planted it onto the floor. It had a small battered stamp from the island upon it. Who else did Sylvester know on the island? I peeled the letter open.